Ado Ekiti - Gov. Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti state, has kicked against the decision to divert Abuja-bound flights to Kaduna over repairs of the runway in the airport at the nation’s capital.
Highlighting instances of insecurity in Kaduna, Fayose recalled the clash between soldiers and members of the Shi’ia sect over the obstruction of the convoy of Tukur Buratai, Chief of Army staff.
The federal government had announced Kaduna international airport as the alternative within the six weeks that Abuja airport would be closed.
Also read: Abuja Airport to be shut down
But in a statement issued by Idowu Adelusi, Fayose’s chief press secretary, the governor said it is “too risky and dangerous” to divert local and international flights from Abuja to Kaduna.
He accused the government of President Muhammadu Buhari of using a “knee-jerk approach” to the situation, and also lamented about the state of the Kaduna-Abuja road, which he described as a “death-trap”.
“They act before they think and they take decisions before consulting critical stakeholders. That way, they always end up putting the cart before the horse. That is how they have messed up the economy and now have brought unprecedented grief, misery, poverty and suffering on Nigerians”, he said.
“This same Kaduna is where Shiites waylaid a whole chief of army staff; the crisis created is yet to abate as the Shiites continue to defy the authorities to mount public protests. This is the same Kaduna where over a thousand citizens have been slaughtered like rams and the federal government has not brought a single of the murderers to book. The situation in southern Kaduna and in other parts remains as tense as ever.
Also read: FG to shut Abuja Airport for 6 weeks
“This is the same Kaduna-Abuja death-trap of a road where a sitting minister of the Federal Republic, his wife and son lost their lives in a road mishap. This is the same Kaduna-Abuja road where a minister and her husband were kidnapped in broad daylight.
“It is also on this same road that an army officer was butchered; where herdsmen parade their herds in broad daylight causing avoidable accidents and other inconveniences to travellers. This is the same road where Boko Haram and other criminally-minded hoodlums operate at will.”
Fayose said the closure of Abuja airport would worsen the economic crisis in the country.
“The decision to close down the Abuja airport will further worsen the country’s economic recession,” he said.
“We will lose business to neighbouring countries; a government that is parroting diversification of the economy will lose non-oil revenue. An aviation sector that is in crisis before will have its situation worsened. Expect more jobs to be lost in that sector, further worsening the alarming unemployment problem in the country.”
He advised the government to “immediately constitute a high-powered team composed of Nigerians with the requisite expertise to handle this very critical national assignment”.
“In Nigeria under the APC\Buhari administration, we seem to value cows more than human lives but this is not the case with foreign governments which place premium on the lives of their citizens. They are not likely to allow our government gamble with the lives of their citizens,” he said.
“But by their nature, they are usually nonchalant. They believe everything starts and ends with political power, which is very sad. They must change this attitude because it is responsible for the untold suffering that our people are going through today.”
- News 24