A new security measure has been put in place at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos, as an Assistant Inspector General of Police, Mr. Danjuma Muhammad has been deployed by the federal government to take over affairs at the airport.
The new development at the international airport is coming following fresh terrorism threats by the Islamic State (ISIS) to carry out attacks on the aviation sector. The spokesperson for the command, DSP Joseph Alabi, confirmed the development to journalists in Lagos, yesterday.
Alabi said the deployment of an AIG to oversee security at the nation's busiest airport was aimed at improving safety and security of travellers and other airport users. According to him, Muhammad is an experienced officer who has served in many commands and formations prior to his transfer to airport.
He said: "The transfer of a very senior ranking officer to the airport command is very strategic and the objective is to ensure that nothing untoward occurs here. The AIG has since assumed duties and has warned officers attached to the command that he will not tolerate laziness, idleness and dereliction of duties".
Alabi said the head of the command has also issued a warning to touts parading themselves within the airport environment that they would be prosecuted if and when apprehended. On the threat by terrorists, he disclosed that Muhammad has assured travelers and other airport users that adequate measures had been put in place for their safety and security.
"The command is working with the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) and other sister security agencies to ensure that our airport is safe. Our advice is that travelers and other airport users should remain vigilant, law abiding and also comply with the new security measures at the airport environment, "Alabi said.
Muhammad is taking over from Mr. Abdullahi Ali, a Commissioner of Police, who retired recently. The command was hitherto headed by a commissioner and the move by the authorities to assign a superior officer might not be unconnected with threats by the Islamic State (ISIS) to carry out attacks on the aviation sector.
Meanwhile, the Department of State Services (DSS) few days ago arrested, in Kukuntu village, Gwagwalada, Abuja, two Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) commanders based in West Africa.
According to the DSS, the names of the suspects are Rufai Sajo and Bashiru Adams. The notice of the arrest comes days after it was revealed that the federal government had alerted the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) and the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) of the threat by ISIS to attack commercial flights into and out of the country, and "bring bloodshed to the skies".
FAAN subsequently said it had tightened security around main airports in the country as a result of the report. General manager, corporate affairs, FAAN, Henrietta Yakubu, was quoted as saying that there was major security focus on Lagos, Abuja, Kano, Enugu and Port Harcourt airports, being the major routes for international passengers entering the country.
Yakubu said the FAAN Aviation Security (AVSEC) was joining hands with other security agencies to keep guard on perimeter fence, the cargo area, the runway and other restricted areas.