NSA allays fear of security threat at airports

The Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) has declared all airports in Nigeria safe.

The ONSA, in a statement, said an earlier report on security threats around airports was a routine threat assessment to ensure preparedness of agencies which was not meant for public dissemination.

A recent memo by the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) had informed airport authorities of imminent security threats by “criminal elements against airports in Nigeria and to request the immediate enumeration of appropriate countermeasures for the safety of airports/facilities under your purview.”

But the ONSA said the unauthorized release of such advisory was likely to raise fear among airport users’ home and abroad.  The ONSA further stated:  “Accordingly, this statement is issued to reassure the public and all aviation stakeholders of the safety of our airports. The security and intelligence services will continue to monitor security threats and provide the assessment and timely advice required by airports managements to continuously upgrade security measures in the airports.”

However, as part of measures to safeguard the airports, the Commandant-General of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Ahmed Audi, has ordered State Commandants to deploy operatives from specialized units for covert operations in all the airports in the country. Audi directed deployment of counter-terrorism, anti-vandalism, crisis and disaster management as well as intelligence and surveillance personnel.  He said that a highly coordinated approach had been put in place to avert the looming threat of attack on the airport facilities across Nigeria.

He explained that this was necessary to elicit credible intelligence that would prevent such attacks and bring those behind the purported acts to book. “The Corps cannot afford to treat the security of Nigerians with kid gloves, hence, his marching order to all concerned State Commandants to adequately deploy operatives from specialized units such as Counter-Terrorism, Anti-Vandalism, Crisis and Disaster Management as well as Intelligence and Surveillance personnel for covert operations to all the Airports in the country,” Audi said.

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