Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Abuja Airport Shutdown: Police Deploys 500 Trucks, 3 Helicopters To Secure Kaduna Highway

Nnamdi Azikiwe Int'l Airport Abuja
The Nigeria Police will deploy 500 Hilux trucks to provide security on the Kaduna-Abuja high way following the relocation of air services to Kaduna Airport, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports.

The Deputy Inspector General of Police (Operations) , Mr Joshak Abila, who represented the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, disclosed this while briefing the Senate on the Abuja airport relocation exercise.

NAN reports that Abila was shedding light on the readiness of the police to provide security during the six weeks that operations at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, would be moved to Kaduna Airport.

He said that the police would also deploy 500 tactical operation teams comprising police officers and other security agencies while the trucks would provide highway patrol to ensure security of the roads.
Three helicopters, he added, had been stationed at the Minna airport in Niger for aerial patrols and movement of high profile passengers during the period.

He added that train marshals would be deployed to provide security for travellers using train, with armed officers in each coach.

“We are ready with our security arrangements if the Kaduna Airport will serve as alternative,” he stated.
NAN reports that the Abuja-Kaduna highway covers a stretch of 164 kilometres, translating to at least two police trucks stationed every one kilometre.

It would be recalled that the Ministry of Aviation had announced that it would be closing the Abuja airport for six weeks from March 8 to enable it carry out maintenance work on the runway.

The decision of the ministry had, however, been trailed by criticisms from many Nigerians and members of the international community who argue that the action would shut down the capital city.

The criticisms prompted the senate to invite stakeholders in the aviation sector to explore alternative options to the airport’s closure.

But after over three hours of deliberations, stakeholders, including the contractor, Julius Berger, insisted that there was no viable alternative to maintaining the runway without completely shutting it down.
The Senate, however, insisted that it would prefer an alternative that would not involve shutting down the airport and offer segmented repair.

The Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekwerenmadu, who presided over plenary advised the Ministry of Aviation to “take decisions based on technical advice provided by various stakeholders.” 

Culled from: Daily Trust Newspaper