Governors of states in the South-East have asked President Muhammadu Buhari to delay the closure of the Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu, to ensure that proper security measures are put in place along routes to alternative airports.
Their fear is that a hurried closure would expose air travellers in the area to high security risks against the background of prevalent insecurity in the country
against causes of insecurity in the region.
The Chairman of the South East Governors’ Forum, Mr David Umahi, conveyed the position of the governors in a letter to President Muhammadu Buhari.
The letter is in reaction to a statement credited to the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) that the airport will close the airport for repairs.
Umahi in a letter called on the President to direct FAAN to delay the repair work until a suitable security arrangement is made for passengers using other airports.
He said there was need to make adequate security arrangement to ensure that visitors and residents of South East travelling long distances are safe.
Umahi who is the Governor of Ebonyi State called on Buhari to direct FAAN to provide armed escorts and helicopter services for passengers going to far distances.
He said the Federal Ministry of Works, Power and Housing should collaborate with the South-East Governors’ Forum to carry out repairs on roads leading to alternative airports.
The Forum also called for 24 hour security patrol on the airport roads for the security and safety of passengers.
To check insecurity, the Forum called on the President to approve its decision to ban herders who have no cattle and the movement of cattle by foot in the region, adding that this will check insecurity.