The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN, has condemned the invasion of the runway of Sultan Abubakar III International Airport, Sokoto, by loyalists of former governor Aliyu Wammako in the state.
The agency said politicians broke through the airport fence and invaded the airport in a bid to receive their political masters on Friday.
PREMIUM TIMES reported how members of the All Progressives Congress, APC, and loyalists of Mr Wammako had besieged the airport in a bid to welcome the former governor into the state. The event occured days after the defection of Aminu Tambuwal, the state governor into the Peoples’ Democratic Party, PDP. Mr Tambuwal was elected governor on the platform of the APC.
“The unfortunate incident, which occurred on Friday August 3, 2018, is a gross violation of the security and safety arrangements at the airport, as thousands of political loyalists violently accessed restricted areas at the airport, breaking down the airport fence in the process and resisting all security machineries in place,” the agency said in a statement on Sunday.
“However, our team of aviation security officers were able to curtail the situation and normalcy was restored at the airport.
“The airport environment is a highly regulated environment and should be seen as such.”
The supporters, who trooped out to receive the senator, also showed solidarity to President Muhammadu Buhari and the APC government.
The News Agency of Nigeria reported that Sokoto was literally shut down as the surging crowd came out in a show of solidarity with Wammako, President Muhammadu Buhari and the All Progressives Congress.
Immediately the plane carrying the senator landed at the Sultan Abubakar III International Airport, motorcyclists ran onto the tarmac to offer a guard of honour.
But FAAN on Sunday said politicians should respect aviation and safety rules while using the airport as electioneering draws closer.
“As the 2019 general elections is drawing closer, the Authority will like to advise the general public, especially politicians and their supporters to ensure compliance with all rules and regulations at the airports, as we will not compromise security and safety at our airports for any reason,” the statement said.