FAAN: His action irresponsible
Governor Umaru Fintiri of Adamawa has come under attack by the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) for what it termed serious violation of airport security rules and that of COVID- 19 guidelines. The breach came a few days after former Governor of Zamfara State, Alhaji AbdulAziz Yari was carpeted for flouting Federal Government’s guidelines on COVID-19 at the Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport (MAKIA). Fintiri and his aides were said to have arrived the Port Harcourt airport and shunned all the layers of bio-security put in place as recommended by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and domesticated by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) with the view to stem the spread of Coronavirus.
The governor bulldozed his way out of the terminal with his aides and by so doing jeopardized his health, that of his family members, close associates, domestic and office staff. A very reliable source told New Telegraph that the governor’s security aides rammed into a barrier erected to curtail free access to security area of the airport and parked their vehicles in unauthorised space, thereby violating not only international civil aviation rule, but that of Federal Government protocols on COVID-19.
FAAN, in a statement, disclosed that on July 14, 2020 at the Port Harcourt airport, the governor and eight others on arrival at the airport breached security and refused to follow the public health protocols. According to FAAN, “Governor Fintiri arrived Port Harcourt International Airport aboard aircraft 5N-IZY, at 17:08hrs on 14th July 2020 with eight others, and flagrantly refused to observe the Airport Security and Public Health protocols as directed by the Federal Government through the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID- 19 by refusing to have his temperature checked, or being sanitised by the health officials.
“His whole entourage of eight did exactly as he did. The team that came to receive them drove right through the barricades up to the terminal building, ignoring traffic and aviation security instructions.” FAAN said this action is irresponsible of the governor and endangers all other airport users. “It is unacceptable, and as such, it has also been duly escalated.
FAAN hereby cautions all airport users, especially our esteemed VIPs, to please respect the Presidential directive by observing airport security and public health travel protocols put in place to protect all air travellers against acts of unlawful interference, infection and the spread of the COVID-19,” it said. Unlike Fintiri, the agency said Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo, who used the Port Harcourt airport, observed all protocols subjecting himself to health checks.
The constant violation of COVID-19 protocols by VIPs, experts said, could derail the fight against the pandemic and protection of lives at the nation’s aerodromes. Meanwhile, the Managing Director of FAAN, Capt. Hamisu Yadudu, has appealed to well-meaning Nigerians to live up to the public expectations from them. Yadudu noted that since the commencement of flight operations, there was no hiccup as passengers, airlines, ground handlers, and all others involved in the aviation chain, complied with the new normal as stipulated by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) that domesticated protocols from ICAO and IATA.