Heavy presence of security operatives have been noticed at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport and other airports across the country following the threats earlier issued by the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) in conjunction with the National Association of University Students (NAUS), South-West zone to shutdown all international airports to protest the refusal of the federal government to yield to the demands of the Academic Staff Union of Universities and other staff unions.
To prevent being caught unawares, the federal government through the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) has drafted security operatives to Lagos and other airports to forestall any disruption of operations by the rampaging students.
This is just as series of meetings are ongoing between the airport authorities and the security agencies to secure the targeted airports.
Nigerian Tribune in its investigations has observed that all entry points leading to the Lagos airport in particular have been securely manned by security operatives to protect the number one gateway.
People and vehicles coming to the Lagos airport through the Ikeja, Oshodi and the Beesam axis are put under surveillance to ensure only those with genuine reasons or business have access to the airport.
It is the same situation at other international airports at Abuja, Kano, Port Hacourt, Enugu and other busy airports.
Confirming the report, the spokesperson for FAAN, Mrs Faithful Hope-Ivbaze who said the airport authorities were already on top of the game declared: “All airports’ General Managers have been put on alert and adequately briefed about the situation.
“All entry points to the airports have been securely manned to prevent any unwarranted incursion. Airports are our gateways and we cannot afford to be caught napping”.
The leadership of the two student unions had last week in a statement issued said: “It is timely and urgent to address this press conference today with a view to putting an end to the long lingering strike of ASUU and ASUP, and for a total reformation of the educational sector. The leadership of NANS Zone D in conjunction with NAUS has taken it upon itself to categorically stand against the dilapidated state of the educational sector in Nigeria.
“We have waited for so long to see if the Federal Government will dance to the music of Nigerian students who have been clamoring for an end to the ASUU strike, but the reverse is the case. We’ve had several press conferences, granted several interviews, and held several meetings to plead with both ASUU and the Federal Government. Our future is been jeopardised. We’re in a country where age is a key factor in the labor market.For so long, ASUU/ASUP strike had been ongoing and the Federal Government has not been showing concern through the Minister of Education.
“We are ready to take the bull by the horn as Nigerian students will not remain silent and watch our future being ruined by the prolonged ASUU/ASUP strike. According to the Commandment of Solidarity, We’re on the last of the three ‘Cs’ of Aluta which is confrontation. This is the time to call on all Nigerian students across all zones to come out in mass to take over all international airports in the country. Nigerian Students are tired of the long-overdue strike action.
The threats by the students to take over the international airports has since created apprehension amongst key players including travelers, airlines and other airport users with regards to the negative consequences such action will have on flight operations and other activities at the airports.