Why we stopped Maiduguri airport from pilgrims airlift – Nigerian military

“The intention has never been to jeopardize the airlifting of pilgrims as has been wrongly portrayed.”

The Nigerian military on Saturday said its restriction of the use of the Maiduguri airport was “purely for security reasons.”

The airport is one of the international airports in Nigeria mainly used to airlift Muslim pilgrims to Saudi Arabia.

The restriction, which means the airport would not be used for the annual pilgrimage, fuelled speculations that the military was deliberately preventing Nigerian Muslims a religious right.

The military, in a statement by its spokesperson, Chris Olukolade, however, said the restrictions followed a security assessment of the situation in Nigeria.

The spokesperson said the assessment indicated that a sudden massive air lift could not be permitted in the light of the threats and ongoing operations in the area.

Maiduguri is the capital of Borno State, the main base of the Boko Haram group that has killed over 12,000 people since its insurgency began in 2009.

“Apparently, the implications of such massive airlift and traffic from the facility in the light of present security situation was not appreciated early enough by those planning the exercise to enable proper security procedure be installed for the important exercise,” Mr. Olukolade said.

He however explained that alternative arrangement was worked out with relevant authorities in the state to ease movement of pilgrims.

The process, he said, has continued irrespective of expected inconveniences which he said will be taken care of in due time.

Mr. Olukolade, a Major General, said the restrictions had no religious or political connotation and that the sensitivity of the security situation in Nigeria calls for due caution.

“The intention has never been to jeopardize the airlifting of pilgrims as has been wrongly portrayed,” he said.

He appealed to the media not to yield itself to the pressure of those seeking to make political or economic capital out of the security situation.


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  • igbiki

    I did nit hear there was a threat from the insurgents to shoot down planes, what I hear is very very BIG BIG grammer.

    Just like the same grammer dem dey blow take to sieze newspapers, dem wan install proper security procedure. FOLLOW ME:-

    “Apparently, the implications of such massive airlift and traffic from
    the facility in the light of present security situation was not
    appreciated early enough by those planning the exercise to enable proper
    security procedure be installed for the important exercise,” Mr.
    Olukolade said.

    • ifebuche

      Genius. You heard they sent telegrams to victims before they were attacked. Senseless individuals.

      • igbiki

        And planes are still taking off from Lagos?

  • Wähala

    “Apparently, the implications of such massive airlift and traffic… (was) to enable proper security procedure (to) be installed ” – Chris Olukolade

    Apparently, Maj. Gen. Chris Olukolade has avoided explaining why they prevented the airlifting of Sen. Ndume and eight others, abi dem too na “massive airlift and traffic”? This is another bolognè and the military loses credibility messing up Information Management the Americans said they’ve been coaching them on. Better to use their time-worn, “Security Report” Naijas are used to and have come to expect whenever Dumbo farts on his perceived opponents. How about forcing the pilgrims to ply the BH-infested roads back to Kano despite vehement protests against such dangerous mission? Olukolade didn’t say if his goons put “proper security procedure” in place to guide such treacherous trip. This is another hogwash from the Army and does no good in times of Ramadan. If anything, this will foster the atmosphere of mistrust ati marginalization of Muslims in Dr. Dumbo’s regional presidency. Sha, hopefully, they’ve arranged alternate logistics instead of treating people sloppily and abusing our airspace in the name of security concerns. After grounding Govs. Oshiomhole ati Amaechi… EiE biko!

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  • Islam Haram

    They are all Muslim terrorist. Hajj is a terror gathering where plans are ironed out for the killing of non-Muslims. Kaaba is an idol. Kaaba is a block of stone. All Muslims must bow to the stone called Kaaba. Zamzam water is a concoction of blood meant to initiate Muslims into the cult of Islam.

    Death to Islam
    Say No to Ramadan fasting
    No fasting for blood sucking Allah

    • Muktar Yahuza

      All you baby factory products, if to say you are good practicing Christians, you will not make this useless utterances to ISLAM. I will advice you to go back to school, idiots

      • Jack Bauer

        Boko Haram like u

        • Ahmad

          Heaven haram like you and your harlot of a mother.

          • Jack Bauer

            better me heaven is nt ur hell haram mother dat devil mohammed n shekau are fucking dat produce u? Son of a whore

    • b

      This shows or prove ur level of madness, prophet isah (Jesus) is respected by every true Muslim, no Muslim will insult Jesus but as u always drink agogoro together with ur father and mother, u ppl don’t think before u talk bc u are drunk dats y u talk any how, if not why all these insult on Islam, practice what u believe and allow others to practice what they believe, i can not insult ur religion bc I know what am doing.

    • Musa

      Insha Allah you will receive your punishment from almighty Allah withing the shortest possible time
      Three God worshipers

    • Ahmad

      The curse of almighty Allah, the angels Gebriel, Holy Micheal, the Prophets from Adam, Noah, Abraham, down to Moses, Jesus and Muhammad( peace and blessings of Allah be upon them all) and all believers have cursed you and cursed shall you remain. You really proved to be fathered by Lucifer assisted by the
      666 beasts. Son of Jezebel reared in a Baby factory, you and your fucking mother will continue liking the anus of swines.

  • jane edosomwan

    IF FOR THE INTEREST OF PEACE IN THE AREA, I AM IN SUPPORT.WHY THE NORTHERNS ARE TAKING TO BE ANOTHER THING WHEN IS FOR THE GOOD OF THEM,COS OF THIS AXIS OF EVILS CALL boko haram.LET THE MINITARY DO THEIR JOB AND WE THE NIGERIANS SUPPORT THE THEM.

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  • Deeman

    the NA is fully aware of the annual hajj/ umra operation, there the ban should have been earlier to avoid all this defensive explanations. I find it difficult to agree with olukolad’s explanations. The nigerian army is turning into a political puppet. But I will advice the NA to avoid playing politics to extent of denying the citizens the right to religion.

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  • Ojukwu Chukwudi

    Any sane human being will never believe this man Okulade. How many times did he lied in this country? He said they got the abducted girls, where are they? I wonder why some gullible Nigerians still believe this man. Please military go to Sambisa, and leave innocent people alone. Show you prowess in Sambisa, not in Airport, or in Ekiti. Show you powers on Boko haram not on innocent citizens, vendors or governors. We are sick and tired of you fighting civilians as directed by the Oga at the top, than the stupid boko boys.

    • ifebuche

      Who is okulade?

  • Naija go beta

    all this APC and boko haram apologist will not stop to politicise everything that the military does or r they afraid that their evil plan would be foiled, most of those going for hajj hav always been diverted to sudan for training to b jihadist, extremist and suicide bombers, if we r honest and truly concerned abt d lives dat r lost to bombings, then we need to support d military to do their job. d press should not also allow itself b used by those who r bent on destroying our country, as for dat think they will get power by killing innocent Nigerians, let them b rest assured dat insha Allah power will elude them bcos God is a just God and He sees in secret all those that hv their hands directly and indirectly in the death of innocent Nigerians

  • Ahmad

    Was about to take the statement in good faith when I suddenly remember the name Gen. Olukolade