Kaduna airport attack: Reps, Afenifere express shock, demand investigation

The Minority Caucus in the House of Representatives has expressed shock over the brazen invasion and takeover of Kaduna International Airport by terrorists on Saturday, March 26, 2022.


A statement by the minority leader, Ndudi Elumelu, said the development was another unfortunate indication of national security collapse.


It called on the federal government to immediately beef up security at airports and other other public places.

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Terrorists, allegedly numbering about 200, invaded Kaduna airport on Saturday, March 26, 2022, killing one person and wounding many.

It also forced the delay in the taking-off of flights including the one that was about going to Lagos.

“This horrific development is another frightening commentary on the apparent collapse of our national security and intelligence gathering coordination under the incompetent All Progressives Congress, APC, administration.

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“The Minority Caucus is deeply concerned and alarmed by the manifest lack of capacity by the APC administration to secure our nation, to the extent that a strategic international airport in our country could be invaded and taken over by terrorists.


“Airports, especially international airports across the world, are usually highly secured areas. Therefore the circumstances that allowed for the invasion of the Kaduna International Airport speak volume about the failure of the APC administration.


“The attack on the airport at the time when our roads, railways and communities are being overrun by bandits, kidnappers and invaders has heightened fear across the country as well as sent a very worrisome signal to the international community regarding the safety of our airports and the worsening insecurity in Nigeria.”

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“The minority caucus therefore calls for an urgent comprehensive investigation into the remote and immediate circumstances leading to the apparent compromising of security at the airport to pave way for the eventual invasion by the terrorists.


“Our caucus urges the Federal Government to immediately beef up security in all our airports and other public convergence facilities in our country so as to forestall a re-occurrence of such terrifying attack,” the statement stated.

Also speaking on the incident, pan-Yoruba socio-political organization, Afenifere, described the invasion of Kaduna airport by terrorists on Saturday as a serious indication of how bad the security situation in Nigeria has gotten.


Afenifere, in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Jare Ajayi, lamented that what happened in Kaduna on the day the All Progressives Congress, APC, was having its national convention in Abuja was a warning that some people want to re-enact the Afghanistan situation in Nigeria.


Afenifere’s spokesperson said: “It is a matter of serious concern that these security infractions happened at a time that the government kept assuring us that it was on top of the situation. Some of these attacks by terrorists even occurred in broad daylight, that of Kaduna airport and that of Enugu for instance.

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“With terrorists having the audacity to attack a national airport despite all the available security apparatus, it means that hardly is anywhere safe any longer in the country. The Federal Government should immediately allow states to set up their police forces, empower the existing security agencies and stop treating terrorists with kid gloves. These must be done immediately so that Nigeria does not go the Afghanistan way.”


Finally speaking on the incident, the Nigerian military on Monday said it had killed 12 bandits involved in the attack.


It also said the attack took place six kilometres away from the terminal point and outside the airport perimetre fence.


This was disclosed on Monday afternoon when Kaduna State Commissioner of Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan, Garrison Command 1 Division Nigerian Army, Brig-General Uriah Opuene and Air Force Base Commander, Air Commodore, Ademuyiwa Adedoyin led journalists on an assessment tour of the attack scene.


According to him, preliminary investigations have revealed that, the bandits were just passing through back of the Airport towards Riyawa village, when they sighted the security man engaged by the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) to watch over their metrological equipment around the axis.

“As you can see, this place is about six kilometers away from the Airport terminal. The bandits were only passing behind the airport parameter fence when they saw the security man engage by NAMA and they fired at him. They just took advantage of that to pass a message that they have attack the airport.


“There are several layers of security at the Airport, this is the first layer and even this first layer was not breached, because from the moment of hearing that shot, it took our men just about three minutes to get here from the next layer of security.


“On arrival, the bandits were already running away, so we engaged them through the use of ground forces. Then we called for air strike and an helicopter was deployed and from the air report, about 12 of the bandits were killed.


“So, as you can see from the distance, the insinuation outside that, the terrorists took over the Airport is not correct. If the terrorists had entered, they would have met us there,” he said.


Also speaking, the NAF Base Commander, Air Commodore Adedoyin said security around the airport general area has been beefed up since the security of the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA) was breached last year, adding that, bandits don’t have the audacity to attack Kaduna Airport.


The Security Commissioner while assuring that the Airport is safe and secured, said the state government was engaging citizens in communities around Airport to scale up intelligence gathering.


He reemphasised that there was no threat to the immediate vicinity of the airport because the military are ahead of the bandits.

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