Travel News

EXCLUSIVE: Immigration writes Nigeria High Commission in UK, says only CG has power to suspend passport issuance - THE CABLE

MARCH 28, 2022

The Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) says the Nigeria High Commission in UK was out of line on issuing a suspension order on e-passport issuance.

TheCable had reported that the commission recently announced the suspension of biometric capturing for persons interested in applying for the e-passport.

The commission said the decision was taken over issues surrounding assault of staff members.

But in a letter seen by TheCable, which was signed by I.J. Idris, the acting comptroller-general (CG) of NIS, and addressed to the commission, the NIS said it is 

According to the letter which was dated March 25, 2022, the acting CG expressed optimism that the situation experienced by the commission would be resolved soon, adding that the challenges experienced are not unusual considering the recent policy changes being implemented on passport issuance.

“In reference to your decision to suspend the issuance of the new e-Enhanced passports in your High Commission, kindly permit me to respectfully draw your attention to provisions of Section 9(1) of the Immigration Act 2015, which clearly stipulates that the power to issue Nigerian passports is solely vested in the Comptroller General of Immigration,” the document reads.

“Subsection (3)(b) of the same Section explains that the power to issue passports in Diplomatic Missions abroad is delegated to the Immigration Attaché serving in that Mission.

“Therefore, it it implicit to note that the power to suspend the issuance of all Nigerian passports across the world is the exclusive reserve of the Comptroller General of Nigeria Immigration Service.

“Kindly note that since this is a policy issue, it may have been appropriate if the Commission’s concerns were shared with the Service, through the Minister of Interior, so as to collectively forge a sustainable solution to these operational challenges.”

The NIS added that it is currently working on measures to “ease the bottlenecks” linked to passport issuance.

“Your concerns, and indeed, the pains of Nigerian passport applicants in the UK, have reinforced the need to escalate our efforts towards finding a lasting solution to these observed challenges and not to relent in our efforts towards addressing them,” the agency said.

“In this regard, and in order not to truncate the process midway into the implementation of the policy, the Nigeria Immigration Service, being the custodian and legal administrator of Nigerian passports, has directed all its Attachés under your High Commission to continue the issuance of the e-Enhanced passports on one hand, while working closely with the High Commission to resolve the observed operational challenges in the shortest possible time.”

Gunmen attack Kaduna-bound train in Northern Nigeria - PREMIUM TIMES

MARCH 28, 2022

The Kaduna-Abuja train was carrying hundreds of passengers Monday evening.

By Mohammed Babangida

Armed persons Monday evening attacked a Kaduna-bound train carrying hundreds of passengers.

The train, which left Abuja at about 6 p.m., was attacked between Katari and Rijana.

The Kaduna State Government confirmed the attack but said it was successfully repelled.

One of the passengers aboard the train, Anas Iro-Danmusa, took to Facebook to solicit for prayers for those in the train.

He said the armed persons planted explosives on the rail which damaged the train’s engines.

“Please this is an emergency. We are inside train at the moment. Kidnappers planted explosives and the train engines have been ruined. We are helpless. Abuja to Kaduna train. Gunshots still being fired right around us. We are just under the seats praying to God while waiting for help. Since 8pm we have been here. Btw Katari to Rijana. I am a living witness,” he posted.

His first post was around 9:07 p.m

According to him, the bandits had surrounded the train and made efforts to enter the coaches but the doors were not opening.

“Please, spread the news. We need help. Gunshots,” he posted.

Over an hour after his first post, Mr Danmusa said soldiers had arrived and repelled the attack.

Also, one Adam Hayatu took to Twitter to, quoting a passenger onboard the train, announce that passengers had been saved by security agents.

“Alhamdulillahi! The military have secured the train. Thank you DSS, thank you Kaduna CP, Thank you Samuel Aruwan, thank you DMI and all the classified persons who answered our calls without hesitation and actually acted upon it. God bless Nigeria and everyone.”

Daily Nigerian reported that there were 970 passengers onboard the train.

“All the passengers are currently lying on the floor of the train. The bandits are shooting sporadically. We are in serious danger,” a passenger told Daily Nigerian.

The Kaduna police command spokesman, Mohammed Jalige, did not respond to calls and SMS sent to him on the attack.

This is not the first time bandits are attacking Abuja-Kaduna train. Last October, the bandits destroyed a portion of the rail track with explosives which disrupted the journey.

The managing director of the Nigerian Railway Corporation, Fidet Okhiria, confirmed that the explosives planted had damaged the track.

The Abuja-Kaduna train is very popular as it is considered safe compared to the road that has witnessed several attacks by armed persons.

The latest attack on the train may, however, cause many passengers to have a rethink.

Kaduna is one of the states most affected by banditry in North-west Nigeria with thousands of people killed or kidnapped in recent years.

The Kaduna government released the statement below confirming Monday’s attack. It said security operatives had secured the passengers.

Troops secure Abuja-Kaduna train trapped by terrorists

Security agencies have reported to the Kaduna State Government that the military has secured the Kaduna bound train from Abuja trapped by terrorists.

The Kaduna State Government received multiple reports of an attack on the Abuja-Kaduna train service at around Kateri-Rijana general areas.

Relevant action agencies were urgently contacted, and robust deployments of personnel were swiftly made to the area to secure the passengers on board.

Efforts are ongoing to convey the passengers from the location and others that sustained injuries have been rushed to hospitals for urgent medical attention.

The Government of Kaduna State will be liaising with the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) to ascertain the list from the passengers’ manifest for efficient tracking.

This is to acquire an accurate inventory of all passengers and their actual status.

Governor Nasir El-Rufa’i who has been in constant touch with the security forces, commended them for their prompt response, and thanked them for successfully securing the train and passengers on board.

Security forces continue to comb the general area in additional rescue efforts.

Emerging developments will be communicated to the public.


Samuel Aruwan Commissioner, Ministry of Internal Security and Home Affairs, Kaduna State.

FAAN speaks on attack by bandits at Kaduna airport - PREMIUM TIMES

MARCH 29, 2022

The attack at Kaduna airport appears to be one of the most daring by the bandits.

By Abdulkareem Mojeed

The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) has provided more details of the armed attack at the Kaduna airport on Saturday, and has confirmed a staff member was killed by the assailants.

The agency said a “group of bandits” attacked the Runway 05 axis but were repelled by security forces.

It said normalcy has since been restored at the airport and security officials recovered two motorbikes abandoned by the bandits.

The airport manager, Amina Salami, had earlier confirmed the attack, saying bandits invaded the airport through the perimeter fence from a nearby forest at about 1 p.m.

She said a security guard who was patrolling the runway was shot by the assailants before soldiers, attracted by the sound of gunshots, responded.

The attack delayed the takeoff of a Lagos-bound flight.

The Kaduna State government also confirmed the incident. Governor Nasir El-Rufa’i commended the security forces for their prompt response to the attack, and for repelling the attackers, and condoled with the family of the victim, the State Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan, said.

FAAN said in a statement on Twitter that a reinforcement team from the Nigerian Defence Academy was on ground to ensure safety and security of airport workers/users.

“The Authority uses this opportunity to sympathise with the family and friends of the victim of this unfortunate incident,” the statement signed by Faithful Hope-Ivbaze, Ag.General Manager, Corporate Affairs, said.

Deadly gangs referred to the government as bandits have been operating in North-western Nigeria for years, abducting and killing thousands. The attack at Kaduna airport appears to be one of the most daring by the bandits.


Suspected bandits attack Nigerian passenger train - REUTERS

MARCH 29, 2022

KADUNA, Nigeria, March 28 (Reuters) - Suspected bandits attacked a passenger train headed to the northern Nigerian city of Kaduna from Abuja, the capital, on Monday evening after they trapped the train, the Kaduna state government said.

One passenger, Anas Iro Danmusa, posted on Facebook that bandits planted explosives which halted the train. He said bandits were trying to force themselves inside the train and gun shots were being fired outside the train.

No group has claimed responsibility for the attack, and no casualties have been confirmed.

"The military has secured the Kaduna-bound train from Abuja trapped by terrorists," a spokesperson for Kaduna state government said. "Efforts are ongoing to convey the passengers from the location and others that sustained injuries have been rushed to hospitals for urgent medical attention."

It is the second train attack since October in Nigeria, which faces an Islamist insurgency and armed bandits that have kidnapped hundreds of students, travellers and villagers for ransom, leaving the population terrified.

Some people have opted to travel by rail after several kidnappings by armed bandits on Nigerian highways, especially in the northwest of the country.

The train was stopped about 25 kilometres to Kaduna when the attacked happened, an official of the Nigerian Railways Corp (NRC) said, adding that a family relative was also trapped on the Kaduna-bound service.

Reporting by Garba Muhammad in Kaduna, Camillus Eboh and Afolabi Sotunde in Abuja; Writing by Chijioke Ohuocha; Editing by Leslie Adler

At least 7 dead after suspected bandits attack train in northern Nigeria -sources - REUTERS

MARCH 29, 2022


KADUNA, Nigeria, March 29 (Reuters) - At least seven people were killed and several were missing after suspected bandits attacked a passenger train headed to the northern Nigerian city of Kaduna from the capital Abuja on Monday night, a passenger and a security source said.

Suspected bandits blew rail tracks and exchanged fire with security officials aboard the train, the second such incident since October that highlights growing insecurity in Africa's most populous nation. 

The Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) said in a statement on Tuesday it had temporarily suspended services on the Abuja-Kaduna route following the attack, which took place some 30 minutes from Kaduna.

Two NRC workers and five security personnel were killed when gunmen opened fire on the train, a passenger and member of Kaduna's security service told Reuters.

A Kaduna police spokesman did not respond to calls and text messages seeking comment.

Kaduna security services were expected to hold a media briefing media later on Tuesday, local television stations reported.

Kaduna-based journalist Yusuf Atta said his mother and sister were on the train and were not accounted for as of Tuesday morning.

Most of the more than 900 passengers were taken from the scene of the attack on buses to Kaduna as deployed security forces kept watch on the train, relatives of the passengers told Reuters.

An unknown number of passengers were injured and receiving treatment at a local hospital, Kaduna state internal security ministry said.

Writing by MacDonald Dzirutwe, Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky

Train and Airport Attacks Heighten Security Concerns in Nigeria - BLOOMBERG

MARCH 30, 2022

by William Clowes

Two deadly incidents in three days outside city of Kaduna President struggles to fulfil pledge to stop armed groups

Armed men carried out two lethal attacks in three days outside a major northern city in Nigeria, bringing pervasive insecurity across the country closer to its urban centers.

On Monday, unidentified gunmen targeted a train traveling to Kaduna from Abuja, the capital, blowing up the track and then opening fire on trapped passengers. At least seven people on board died, while others were injured or kidnapped, according to Lagos-based Channels Television. The attack came two days after Nigerian security forces repelled an assault on Kaduna’s airport that left one person dead.

The incidents are a particularly brazen demonstration of the deadly violence that’s plagued large parts of northern Nigeria for several years. Passengers pay more to travel the 100 miles between Abuja and Kaduna by air or rail because cars and buses are regularly attacked on the road linking the cities.

President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday ordered the security agencies to “bring back all passengers kidnapped and ensure that each of the callous terrorists are hunted down,” according to a statement emailed by a spokesman.

Governor Kaduna  @GovKaduna

  KDSG condemns the terrorist attack on the Kaduna-Abuja train that occurred on 28 March 2022. KDSG wishes to express its sympathy with all the passengers; extends its condolence to the families of the passengers that died in the attack and wishes the injured speedy recovery.

Sent via Twitter for iPhone.

View original tweet.

The latest attack came hours after Information Minister Lai Mohammed lauded the railway line that was opened to passengers in 2016.

“We are proud that in our time Nigerians are once again able to travel by rail, this time in total comfort and safety,” he said in a speech Monday.

Buhari’s administration has labeled the so-called “bandits” accused of destabilizing northern Nigeria as terrorists. The military has struggled to stop them carrying out massacres and mass abductions that have forced thousands of people in the region to flee their homes.

The government has also faced sustained criticism for its inability to check widespread insecurity caused by other organizations, including an Islamist insurgency that’s been active in the northeast for more than a decade and a revitalized secessionist movement in the southeast.

Buhari, who was voted into office in 2015 on a pledge to bring peace to the country, risks leaving a legacy of having overseen the expansion of territories vulnerable to insecurity during his presidency. He will step down after elections scheduled for February.

Rail staff killed in ‘unprecedented’ attack on train in Nigeria - THE GUARDIAN UK

MARCH 30, 2022

Gunmen have attacked a train travelling from the Nigerian capital, Abuja, to the city of Kaduna, in an “unprecedented” act of violence that will heighten concerns about a breakdown of security in the country’s troubled northern region.

The death toll is unclear but a local security official told Reuters two train staff and five security personnel had been killed. A senator in Kaduna state separately said three cleaning staff on the train had died. Many others were injured and there were fears that an unknown number had been abducted.

Authorities could not immediately confirm the number of passengers on the train but local media reported that nearly 1,000 people were onboard.

The attackers used explosives to blow up the rail track before opening fire, according to Fidet Okhiria, the chief executive of the state-owned Nigerian Railway Corporation. “There were casualties but we have not been able to confirm the number,” Okhiria told Associated Press, describing the nature of the attack as unprecedented.

The attack occurred in Katari in Kaduna state, 55 miles from Abuja, on Monday evening. Many Nigerians use the railway as a safer alternative to the road route between Abuja and Kaduna, which for years has been one of the most dangerous in Nigeria because of kidnappings and armed bandits.

No group has claimed responsibility for Monday night’s attack but suspicion will fall on bandit groups.A Kaduna government official said passengers trapped on the train and others who had escaped to nearby forests were evacuated on Tuesday morning.

The attack is the most significant on the railway line from the capital since it began operating in 2016. It came two days after gunmen attacked Kaduna airport, killing a security guard before soldiers intervened.

Details of the latest incident emerged on Monday night, when passengers posted on social media that they were being shot at. One passenger who posted on Twitter during the attack that she had been shot later died, her colleagues said.

Some passengers complained that the attack continued for at least an hour before soldiers arrived to rescue them.

Video footage broadcast by local media showed passengers with bullet wounds and damaged carriages.

It has not been possible to establish a precise death toll. A senator in Kaduna, Shehu Sani, said passengers and police reported multiple deaths.

“Police officers confirmed that three train cleaners were killed. My friend’s wife, who was on the train, also said many people in her carriage were killed and injured and many kidnapped and taken away into the bush,” he said. “I got distress calls from some of the passengers. Even from the call you can hear the gunshots.”

The security situation in Kaduna had been gradually deteriorating, Sani said. “We used to travel by road, and the bandits blocked the road. Then we resorted to using the trains. Now this incident.”

Samuel Aruwan, a commissioner for defence at the Kaduna state government, said injured passengers had been taken to hospitals and that the government would cover the cost of their treatment. Relatives of the injured have made public appeals for people in Kaduna to donate blood.

Federal authorities have yet to release a statement.

Much of north-west and central Nigeria has been in the grip of attacks by so-called bandit groups, proscribed terrorists in Nigeria, who have carried out mass killings mainly in villages, rural towns and motorways. The groups – mostly ethnic Fulanis – have kidnapped thousands of people for ransom as well as killing, stealing and committing acts of sexual violence.

They emerged from a historical conflict that has worsened dramatically, between largely Fulani pastoralists and farmers of varying ethnic groups, over access to water and land and the boundaries between private farmland and grazing areas.

In recent years, the groups have overwhelmed communities and been more heavily armed than local police forces and vigilante groups. Kidnaps for ransom, targeting schoolchildren, ordinary civilians, prominent figures and their relatives have boomed in recent years.

The groups have in effect occupied many communities in north-west and central Nigeria, punishing communities that cooperate with authorities and demanding levies.

Jihadist groups have also become increasingly active in north-west Nigeria, exploiting the lack of security and in some cases working with bandits to carry out kidnaps.

Airstrikes have been launched on the hideouts of armed groups in a forested expanse stretching from northern Nigeria into Niger but the attacks have continued.

World’s Longest Passenger Flight Plans to Avoid Russian Skies - BLOOMBERG

MARCH 30, 2022

(Bloomberg) -- Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd. plans to reroute its New York-Hong Kong service to avoid Russian airspace, in what would be the world’s longest commercial passenger flight by distance. It will take about 17 hours. 

The airline plans to fly from John F. Kennedy International Airport over the Atlantic Ocean, the U.K., southern Europe and central Asia, according to a memo to Cathay flight staff seen by Bloomberg News. The distance of 16,618 kilometers (10,326 miles) would surpass Singapore Airlines Ltd.’s New York service, which takes about 17-and-a-half hours to cover 15,349 kilometers, FlightRadar24 data show.

A spokeswoman for Cathay said Airbus SE’s A350-1000 is capable of operating the route, which would typically fly over the Arctic and through Russian airspace. Many Asian airlines are avoiding Russia due to the conflict in Ukraine. 

“We are always running contingency routings for potential events or scenarios,” the spokeswoman said. “The Transatlantic option relies on the facilitation of strong seasonal tailwinds at this time of the year in order for the flight time to be between 16 and 17 hours, thereby making it more favorable than the Transpacific route.” 

The airline said it is monitoring tailwinds every day, and that their benefits are diminishing. Jet streams tend to be stronger in the winter months. 

Cathay is seeking overflight permits to operate the service, which it said was normal for a new route. Before the pandemic, which has severely reduced its schedule, the carrier operated up to three round-trips between Hong Kong and JFK daily. 

Cathay’s most recent New York-Hong Kong flight stopped in Los Angeles before continuing over the Pacific and into the Asian financial hub without entering Russian airspace. The new, extended route would remove the need for a stopover, making it more cost-effective and competitive.

Several airlines have plotted routes to avoid Russia, mostly between Asia and Europe. Japan Airlines Co Ltd rerouted its service from Tokyo’s Haneda airport to London’s Heathrow via Alaska and Canada rather than flying over Siberia. That added four-and-a-half hours to the 11-hour 55-minute journey.

Such flight changes are likely to only be temporary given the costs carriers face from high oil prices, as well as uncertainty over the accessibility of Russian airspace. 

Qantas Airways Ltd.’s 20-hour trips connecting Sydney with London and New York using an ultra-long range Airbus widebody jet are still being planned after the pandemic delayed their launch. The airline did a test of the so-called Project Sunrise service in 2019, flying New York to Sydney with 40 passengers.

Air New Zealand Ltd. last week unveiled a new ultra-long service from Auckland to New York JFK, while Qantas announced a Melbourne-Dallas route on Monday, both of which are due to start later this year. Qatar Airways QCSC and Emirates Airline flights to Auckland were among the world’s longest until they were suspended due to Covid-19.

Canary Wharf announces £500 million project to build Europe’s biggest commercial lab - EVENING STANDARD

MARCH 30, 2022

Canary Wharf today announced plans to build the biggest private lab in Europe as the area continues to diversify beyond finance.

Dutch company Kadans Science Partner, which specialises in building lab-ready properties, has set-up a joint venture with the Canary Wharf Group to develop a new 22-storey building that will have 750,000 square feet of space devoted to labs.

Once complete, the building - thought to cost around £500 million - will be home to thousands of workers and house up to a hundred businesses. Its owners want to fill it with a mixture of biotech startups, academics, clinicians and more established pharmaceutical companies.

James Sheppard, Kadans’ UK chief, said: “We’re effectively going to be building a campus under one roof.

“A lot of clinicians now are also entrepreneurs, they want to build a business.”

The block, set for completion in 2026, will be the largest commercial lab space in Europe and form the cornerstone of a new 3.3 hectare development on the Wharf’s North Quay meant to attract life sciences businesses spanning biotech to healthcare.

The new development will be on a similar scale to the Crick Institute, the biomedical research facility established by London universities in 2016. However, the Canary Wharf development will focus on commercial applications of science.

Canary Wharf is hoping to take advantage of rapid growth in the sector and the UK’s traditional strength in sciences, centered around the so-called “golden triangle” of London, Oxford and Cambridge.

Last summer the government set out a 10-year strategy for making the UK a “science superpower” in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng announced plans to “build a pro-enterprise environment” where life sciences startups “can commercialise breakthrough products right here in the UK,” though funding was subsequently delayed.

Howard Dawber, head of strategy at Canary Wharf, said: “There is huge demand for this.”

He said labs in London were already at capacity with a vacancy rate of just 4% in Oxford and 1% in Cambridge.

Dawber said: “We’re offering exactly what’s required by these fast growing businesses.”

Canary Wharf’s ambition to get into the life sciences sector has been under consideration since 2019 and comes as the Canary Wharf Group looks to diversify beyond its traditional core market of finance. Thousands of flats are being built in the area as it seeks to attract residents as well as businesses.

Dawber said life sciences businesses based at the Wharf would benefit from close proximity to banks that could finance or advise on commercialization.

Kaduna airport, train attacks: Nowhere is safe again in Nigeria - Reps - VANGUARD

MARCH 30, 2022

By Levinus Nwabughiogu, Abuja

Miffed by the recent twin attacks on the international airport and train in Kaduna State, members of the House of Representatives, Tuesday, said that Nigeria had been made unsafe by terrorists.

Their submission was sequel to a motion titled “Urgent Need for the Federal Government to Investigate the Recent Attacks at Kaduna International Airport and Reinforce Security Surveillance and Personnel in all the Nigerian Airports” presented at the plenary by chairman, House Committee on Aviation, Hon Nnolim Nnaji who also represents Nkanu East/West Federal Constituency of Enugu State.

In the motion, Nnaji recalled that about a year ago, armed bandits attacked the staff quarters of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), at the Kaduna International Airport and abducted about 12 persons.

He noted that on Friday, 25th day of March, 2022, there was a horrific armed banditry attack at the Kaduna International Airport, culminating in the death of a security guard of the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency NAMA.

He however stated that a combined detachment of the military and other security gencies were deployed to the airport to confront the heavily armed bandits, numbering over a hundred.

“The military personnel at the airport were timeous enough to repel the attack, chased away the bandits and seized some their motorcycles.

“Unauthorized persons have been using the route behind the permeter fence of the airport, until the recent attack, which unfortunately resulted in the loss of a life.

“The Managing Director of NAMA, Matthew Pwajok, noted that, though the bandits attacked the navigational aids in the airport, killed the watchman while the technical staff ran for safety, the military were alerted and they responded swiftly to secure lives and properties at the airport.

“The armed banditry attacks at Kaduna International Airport may escalate to other airports across the country, if not checkmated.

“No one is safe to travel by air if positive steps are not taking urgently to safeguard our airports from banditry attacks, considering the international standards on airport security management as outlined by International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)”, he said in the motion.

Speaker further on the issue, Nnaji said that the implication of the attacks was that international flights may stop coming into the country.

“What it means is that the only means of transportation now to Kaduna is road. Definitely, if it happens in other places; if they start attacking our airports, the implication is that even the international airlines will stop coming to Nigeria. That is the implication. And the premium on our local airlines – the premium on their insurance – will go up and the implication is that (the cost of) air tickets will double. That is why I am asking that the leadership should come to our aid to see how we can solve this problem. It is not just a committee issue; it has to do with the entire House led by the leadership, to see how we can unravel this situation”, he said.

Contributing to the motion, Hon. Aminu Suleiman (APC, Kano) attributed the sad incident to collective failure of the security agencies.

“I never believed that this incident really happened. It surprises me and truly troubles me as a person that this thing could happen in the Federal Republic of Nigeria. This thing that happened – that truly happened – actually challenged us as a nation.

“I think these bandits have taken these deliberate killings to the sovereignty of this country, far beyond what we can comprehend. So, we must accept collective failure. We must present a very formidable front as a House to ensure that these things do not happen again. And for it not to happen, somebody somewhere must be held responsible.

“It couldn’t have just been ordinary, that these people drive through the cities and challenge the security of our airport. It is not only reprehensible but also a display of general ineptitude on the part of the security (agencies) responsible for security in our airports. My vote is available for any action that will be taken or needed to be taken.

“We need to act very patriotically and ensure that somebody is held responsible and punished severely for this incident to serve as a deterrent. The road is almost becoming impossible. Rail is being threatened.

“Only a few of us go by road now – the comrades in the country; my colleagues and others fly. Therefore, if the air is also not safe, ordinarily I would have jubilated that they are coming to join us but we need them to be alive”, he said.

Similarly, Hon. Onofiok Luke (PDP, Akwa Ibom) said if terrorists can attack sensitive transport infrastructures, it meant that nowhere was safe.

“It is saddening that we can have a security breach to a point of infraction in the airport. It is quite saddening! We have had our train and our rail affected just some few hours ago.

“We seem to be involved in so much political activities as of present but there are critical issues affecting the lives of Nigerians. We seem to be involved in 2023 (general elections).

“My call this morning is for every one of us from the executive to the legislature, from the federal to the state and local governments, to come together for us to proffer solutions and provide security for Nigerians, which is the primary objective of government.

“Those who used to go to Kaduna by road became challenged because of kidnappings on the Abuja-Kaduna road. Then, the railway and trains came but they are being challenged today.

“Nigerian Railway Corporation had issued a statement that it was going to suspend the activities along that line. We were challenged some few days ago, for us to have an infraction at the airport, which means no way is safe. If our roads are not safe; if our rails are not safe; if our airports are not safe, then it calls for us to suspend everything political to begin to address the critical needs of Nigerians.

“If we don’t have Nigeria, we might not be having elections. If we don’t better the lives of the people who we are seeking to govern, then we would have failed totally”, he said.

“On his part, the deputy minority leader of the House, Hon. Toby Okechukwu said the country was seriously bleeding.

“As pointed out, this time actually is not the time to play politics or opposition or try to say you are in government. This is an existential threat to all Nigerians. It means Nigerians are on the run. It used to be cars that were attacked and (occupants) kidnapped by bandits.

“Now, they have attacked our airport. They started about a year ago; they have attacked the NDA and a few hours back, they attacked our rail line. Nigeria is hemorrhaging; we are under a serious challenge.

“It means that if they had anything to use against the aircraft, they would have used it. I believe we are under a serious threat”, he said.

To this end, the House while adopting the motion urged the leadership of the House and Chairmen of relevant Committees in House to invite all National Security Adviser, Minister of Defence, Chief of Air Staff, DG DSS, IGP, aviation minister, DG NCAA, MD FAAN, MD NAMA, GM railway corporation, minister of transport for explanation

It also urged the Federal Government through the National Security Adviser (NSA), Chief of Defense Staff, the Inspector General of Police and heads of other security agencies, to set up a special security task force on airports across the country.

It directed the Federal Ministry of Aviation, FAAN and other security agencies to put a more proactive measure in securing our airports, including providing a modern security surveillance equipment on the perimeter fences in all our airports.

Ruling on the motion, the presiding officer and deputy speaker of the House, Hon. Ahmed Idris Wase directed certain committees to be part of the investigation which may commence Wednesday.

“The committees that are supposed to work alongside with the leadership of the house are aviation, national security, police, army, airforce, defence and land transport.

“We beg that the invitation be sent as soon as possible. Hopefully, we would start the meeting as from tomorrow”, he said.


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