Nigeria’s South-East Governors Forum (SGF) has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to delay the closure of the Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu, and act against causes of insecurity in the region.
The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) Saturday announced that it will close the airport’s runway for major repairs.
But the governors in a letter signed by its chairman and Ebonyi State governor David Umahi said the closure will not afford them time to make security arrangement for the convenience of residents and visitors in the region to travel long distances to alternative airports where flights can be diverted to.
The governors called on the president to direct aviation authorities to provide immediate palliatives in form of transportation with armed escorts and helicopter services to prospective passengers from alternative airports that connect the zone.
The governors said the federal Ministry of Works in collaboration with the South-East Governors’ Forum should carry out repairs on major roads leading to the alternative airports.
The governors asked that 24-hour joint security patrol be provided for the safety of the people and visitors to the South East who will be using the roads day and night through the alternative airports.
The governors also asked the president to approve its earlier decision to permanently ban herders who have no cattle, as well as the movement of cattle by foot in the region.
This, they said, is to eliminate increasing cases of killings, raping of women, kidnapping, and destruction of farmlands.
“That Mr. President do approve the earlier resolution of the South-East Governors banning herdsmen without cattle and movement of cattle by foot in the zone to eliminate increasing cases of killing, maiming, raping of our women, kidnapping of our people and destruction of our farmlands mostly carried out by foreign herdsmen and in most cases with the backing of some compromised local herders,” the SGF said.