Lagos - The Federal Airports Authority of
Nigeria (FAAN) on Tuesday said that it never denied Dame Patience Jonathan, the
wife of former President Goodluck Jonathan, access to the VIP’s lounge at the
Port Harcourt International Airport.
It is reported that FAAN’s denial
is contained in a statement issued by Mr Yakubu Dati, its General Manager,
The statement said the news report of the incident which
allegedly occurred on July 27 in the social media was misleading and
"We wish to state that no such thing happened as Dame
Patience Jonathan, like other family members of former Presidents and other
designated principal officers of Government, are officially entitled to the use
of airports’ VIP and protocol lounges under the management of FAAN.
Also read: Security agents humiliates Patience Jonathan
"The Authority holds the former First Lady in high esteem,
being the wife of our former President and, therefore, could not have done
anything that would suggest disrespect for her person," it said.
According to the statement, the former first lady’s convoy
was only denied access to the foot of the aircraft during boarding formalities
at the airport in line with international aviation best practices.
It said this was strictly for safety reasons as prescribed
by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).
The statement said: "Our security officials explained this
fact in detail to the former first lady.
"We wish to recall that former President Goodluck Jonathan
in his recent trips from the same airport, had to walk to the aircraft from the
protocol lounge, in recognition of this ICAO regulation."