Encroachment heightens Nigerian airport security challenges

Encroachment into airport premises might be the next big issue. The problem is that Nigeria’s airports are in jeopardy even as the regulator is unable to bite when it comes to preventing structures that are hazardous to air safety, WOLE SHADARE writes


Land struggle


Part of the crisis threatening peace in Africa is the struggle over land and natural resources. This crisis is rooted in a series of structural, historical, and socioeconomic factors. It is also driven by increasing urbanisation, land-grabbing, demographic pressure, inadequate property rights, and conflicting land tenure systems.


The crisis over the pulling down of the massive perimeter fencing of the Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu, last week, has brought to the fore controversies associated with airport land encroachment.


This article is based on an unresolved land-related crises in many of the country’s airports as the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) is fast losing its assets to land grabbers and Omo Onile (sons of the original landowners), who assert ownership of land in many parts of the nation. It is believed that all government institutions and facilities are built on land acquired from original owners in public interest.


Emejulu on rampage Jonathan Emejulu had last week supervised the destruction of the perimeter fence of the Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu. Emejelu had destroyed the fence while executing a court judgment that gave him possession of plots of land near the airport undergoing rehabilitation. While taking possession of the land on Wednesday, Emejulu insisted that he purchased it in 2008 from Nike community.


But in what appears to be a fight back, the Enugu State Government last week Friday pulled down a twin duplex belonging to Emejulu. Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi vowed to send a strong message to Emejulu for daring the state government by demolishing the airport fence while executing the judgment of Enugu State High Court.


Not a few had condemned the action of the state government for the demolition of Emejulu’s property with many forgetting that the man had become a terror to people living around the airport. Stories abound about how Emejulu himself demolished people’s houses claiming they encroached on his property while demanding N15 million on hapless citizens around the neighborhood. Many have also faulted the government for resorting to self help in resolving the matter by estroying his property.


Utter shock A source, who spoke to New Telegraph, said the government was shocked with the audacity of a citizen to unilaterally carry out such destruction on a national asset and exposure of the country’s national security to attack. What we see here is an a




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