Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos
Chinedu Eze â€¨
The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) has ordered that all the bureaux de change operators at both the domestic and international terminals of the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos and that of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja to leave.
The agency has also beefed up security at the Lagos airport with a combination of the State Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) and Aviation Security (AVSEC) to patrol all the areas of the Lagos airport premises.
This is following the armed robbery attack Wednesday night which led to the death of two policemen and one suspected armed robber about 2000 meters from the international terminal of the airport.
Inspecting the scene of the accident Thursday which was at the end of the car park, few feet to the wall of the Mosque located at the airport, there were still puddles of blood and three vehicles wrecked by bullets at the area. These include a police van, a Mitsubishi four wheel drive and a minibus.
The windscreen and the windows of the police van were shredded by bullets, a scenario painted the tragedy of the Wednesday night’s attack.
The General Manager, Corprorate Communications of FAAN, Yakubu Dati, said FAAN had swung into action to prevent such incident from happening again.
“As a remedy, the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria has banned the activities of bureau de change from the car park and other car parks at all the airports across the country. The report we are receiving is that it was the activities of bureau de change that attracted the armed robbers into the facility and so the Managing Director of the authority, Mr. George Uriesi, has given an order to evacuate all the bureau de change.”
We have given them time to come and pick whatever they have here because at the end of today they will never enter this car park again. A task force will move in and evacuate them.”
He said by using a woman and a man as shield, the robbers were able to stop policemen from shooting them directly but they were still able to gun down one of the armed robbers.
The policemen who died in the attack were caught unawares because they were part of a protocol who were waiting for their boss when the armed robbers descended on them.
Dati explained that any bureau de change operator that wants to carry out business at the airport must go through the normal channels and secure space to operate safely.
He said an airport security meeting would be held by all stakeholders with a view to assessing all areas of vulnerability and secure the airport premises.
The chief security officer of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos, Colonel Carl Dalud Onalu (rtd), explained that the robbers rode into the airport in a Toyota Sienna car, and gained access into the car park through a small gate at the stakeholders’ parking lot.
The chief security officer of the airport also hinted of plans to collaborate with relevant security officials on how to secure the operational areas including banks that operate at the airport.