Recently, Zainab Aliyu, an innocent Nigerian who in the course of traveling to Mecca, the holy land in Saudi Arabia to perform her spiritual right was tried not by Satan directly but by his mercenaries in drug trafficking chain who because of their insatiable appetite for money have become a tool in the hand of Satan himself.
What transpired between Zainab and the six drug barons at the Malam Aminu Kano International Airport is already in the public domain.
The drug barons, according to findings by the NDLEA have a willing tool in a syndicate which spreads across aviation agencies, airlines, uniform personnel including other airport users such as cleaners who they regularly entice with cash to help them carry out their wicked act of planting drugs in the baggage of unsuspecting passengers.
This was the predicament that confronted Zainab as unknown to her the deadly squad had already planted prohibited drug, tramadol in another bag tagged in her name.
As it is widely known that drug offense in Saudi carries public execution which automatically qualifies Zainab for death in the foreign land if caught. If not for the efforts of the NDLEA officials who were able to unravel this deadly squad coupled with the intervention of the federal government, perhaps, Zainab would have be sent to meet her creator.
This has obviously pointed to the fact that many Nigerians who have been executed for drug trafficking in Saudi Arabia and other countries where drug trafficking carries capital punishment might have been innocent as they might have been victims of the deadly drug cartel at the airports.
Therefore, now that the NDLEA has succeeded in uncovering the airport cartel, there is also the need for the anti narcotic agency to go further by revealing where they worked.
Obviously, in beaming searchlight, areas that require thorough audit include the airlines because without the connivance of an airline staff, it will become almost impossible for any drug baron to know the weight of a passenger’s baggage which can only be achieved through having access to the airlines computer assistance passenger pre-screening system.
Also, one major question calling for answer is knowing who collected the slip of the tag of the second bag tagged in Zainab’s name or who the passenger that actually had the second bag was.
The answers to all these have become pertinent because any of the persons in the chain of the events that led to the arrest of Zainab in Saudi are not only risks but serious insiders threats in the event that the second bag is a dope of explosives or bomb.
According to a security expert, Group Captain John Ojikutu (retired), the airline is ‘unaware’ accomplice because it has allowed its security system to be breached by persons it cannot sufficiently call its direct or indirect employees. Many have expressed worries that what happened in Kano airport may be a terrorist drill.
At this juncture searchlight should be beamed on all the airlines, ground handling companies, airport workers, uniform personnel and others by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority and other relevant agencies which should send a formal report to the airline involved in the Zainab saga on one hand and other foreign airlines on the need to conduct a thorough audit of their security programmes.
Besides auditing the airlines security programmes, there is also the need for audit to be conducted on workers at the various government agencies and ground handling companies at the airports especially those whose functions include passengers’ profiling and baggage handling.
The only way to make the innocent Nigerians whose blood had been shed through this wicked act to rest in peace is to do all things possible to fish out all those in the airport cartel and let them be dealt with.