Senator Hope Ozodinma (PDP, Imo), has explained that the Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport in Abuja was shut to allow for maintenance of the runway.
Uzodinma, who is Chairman of the Senate Committee on Aviation, said this while fielding questions from State House Correspondents after a meeting with President Goodluck Jonathan.
According to him, the airport, which will be closed from midnight on Saturday to 6 a.m. on Monday, is to allow construction giant, Julius Berger, fix the pot holes noticed on the runway.
“This was done for obvious safety reasons. We have some potholes that are already seen as serious hazards. And don’t forget that is the only runway that lands our President, all the VIPs, all the investors that come into this country”, he said.
He also said the closure will allow for a technical audit by the Federal Aviation Authority, FAA, in keeping with international regulations.
The senator, however, faulted the public outcry over the closure of the airport, saying it was not peculiar to Nigeria.
“Well, all over the world, they know that we have one runway in Abuja. The next thing anybody can do is to look for the nearest airport close to Abuja either Kaduna or Minna and then chose whether it will make a better business sense to land there or not to fly at all.
“And whatever may be the case between midnight Saturday and Monday, it’s not something anybody can cry about. All over the world, airports and runways are usually closed whenever there are obvious maintenance programmes that bother on safety. So, our own should not be an exception”, he said.
Senator Uzodinma said there will be no national carrier as government could no longer run businesses meant for the private sector.
“For us to have a national Carrier, it is an airline that government must own 100 percent and I doubt whether the government has the managerial and technical capability to begin to float an airline in an economy that is being privatized. Rather, it can copy from the United States, France, Britain where they have national flag carrier.
“In this situation, what happens is that private people will own the airline and government will continue to support and then they will carry our flag. It is important to see an airline that is carrying our flag”, he said.
Several Injured As Thugs Attack #EndSARS Protesters, Governor Oyetola In Osun
Some of the vehicles in the Governor’s convoy were also destroyed by the thugs but the Governor himself was evacuated to safety by his security team.
As the convoy was leaving the protest venue, some of the youths continued to stone his vehicles.
While the protest was disrupted, Governor Oyetola assured the injured victims that the government would be responsible for their medical bills.
#EndSARS: Sanwo-Olu Constitutes Panel Of Enquiry
In a bid to quell the #EndSARS protest which is spreading like a raging inferno across the country, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, the Governor of Lagos State has set up a panel of inquiry and restitution for victims of SARS.
This was announced in a statewide broadcast on Thursday.
The panel will be a 7-man panel which will ensure that all those with verifiable cases of SARS brutality or fatality receive compensation.
The Panel will be chaired by retired Justice Doris Okuwobi, while members are Ebun Adegboruwa, SAN (representing the Civil Society), Taiwo Lakanu (a retired Deputy Inspector General of Police), Patience Udoh (representing the Civil Society); Segun Awosanya aka Segalink (Human Rights Activist).
Others are Olutoyin Odusanya (Director, Citizens Mediation Center), a rep/member of the youth-led protest, and a representative of the Human Rights Commission.
There will be a help desk for the complaints and petitions to the panel.
Governor Seyi Makinde Loses 81-Yr-Old Mother
Abigail Makinde, the mother of the governor of Oyo State, Seyi Makinde, is dead.
The Chief Press Secretary to Mr Makinde, Taiwo Adisa, however, told newsmen that the family will soon make an official statement on the death of the deceased.
He said: “Yes. The family will make an official statement.
“The family will soon make an official statement. In the next few minutes, the family will make an official statement, in few minutes.”
It was gathered that Mr Makinde lost his father, Olatunbosun Makinde, a few years ago.
It was learnt that Mrs Makinde died in the early hours of Thursday.
She died at the age of 81.
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