6 February 2012

Nigeria: SSS Bars Journalists From Lagos Airport Press Centre

Lagos — The State Security Service (SSS) and the protocol department attached to the presidential wing of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, have barred journalists from accessing the press centre used by aviation correspondents.

The SSS and the protocol department claimed they were acting on an instructions from the presidency.

Journalists have used the facility for over 30 years and not even the military regimes shut it down.

Inside sources said the presidency was uncomfortable with certain reports on VIP movements around the airport, the most recent was a picture showing the Ooni of Ife using a Presidential Jet.

Trouble started Saturday when someone, who identified himself as head of the presidential crew, went into the press centre and told journalist that he had been ordered from the presidency to sack pressmen from the premises.

Heavily armed security personnel yesterday executed the order by denying journalists access to the presidential lounge, where the centre is lokcated.

Pleas by journalists to be allowed to go in and pick up their tools and personal belongings were rebuff by the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) personnel, insisting that "we have orders from above not to allow you in; it is not our fault."

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