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Terrorism: FAAN beefs up security at airports

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AHMED MARI, Maiduguri, with agency report

The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) has beefed up security and surveillance at the major airports in the country following a recent report that terrorists were sneaking into Nigeria from Syria.

The General Manager, Corporate Affairs, Mrs Henrietta Yakubu, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Tuesday that the move was aimed at forestalling anything untoward from occurring at the airports.

Yakubu said special attention was being given to the Lagos, Abuja, Kano, Enugu and Port Harcourt Airports which services international passengers and were gateways into the country via air.According to her, FAAN Aviation Security (AVSEC) is working with other sister security agencies to maintain surveillance on the perimeter fence, the cargo area, the runway and other restricted areas.

She said: “We have sent alert to all our aviation security at the airports to ensure that they improved on security, especially screening of passengers to make sure unauthorised persons don’t gain access into our terminals.“The airside patrol is being done through the military joint force and AVSEC. They do it round the clock. There are vehicles that are parked on the airside and they escort arriving and departing passengers.’’

Yakubu said FAAN had deployed modern equipment to screen passengers and baggage before entering the terminal.“Our Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras in the terminals and the airside are all functional.“The Anti-Bomb Squad are deployed behind the screening machines at the terminal alongside the AVSEC and the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA). They carry out further checks on any baggage that they suspect,’’ he said.

Yakubu also disclosed that the periodic simulation exercises to sensitise travellers and other airport users on how to manage emergency situations at the airports would soon be conducted following the fresh terrorism threat.Meanwhile, the combined military and Police have on Monday successfully repelled Boko Haram attack on Gajiram, the headquarters of Nganzai local government of Borno state.

Confirming the incident, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), DSP, Edet Okon, in a statement said “today at about 1740hrs, heavily armed Boko Haram terrorist in about 11 gun trucks attacked Gajiram town, headquarters of Nganzai LGA. Police personnel deployed to the area alongside troops of the Nigerian Military engaged the terrorists and promptly repelled the attack.”

He said thanked God there was no casualty on the side of the police.The stated further stated that reinforcement has been mobilised and deployed to the town.DSP Okon said that further development would be communicated to the press in due course.

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