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Police IG bans political, social, religious gatherings at airports

By The Citizen

The Nigeria Police Force has banned all forms of political, social and religious gatherings at all the airports in the country.

The Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar, said that the ban was necessary to avert security breaches at such exclusive security zones and protect infrastructure, travellers, crew members, airport staff and personnel at the nation's local and international airports.

Rising from a strategic security meeting at the Force Headquarters, Abuja, on Tuesday, the Police High Command directed the Airport Command Commissioners of Police and Commissioners of Police in states hosting the airports to ensure that, in line with international best practices, firm security measures were taken to safeguard the airports and their critical infrastructure.

This, it said, was to prevent a situation where the airports would be turned into places of political assemblies, religious worship and other social receptions.

A statement by the Force Public Relations Officer, CSP Frank Mba, on Wednesday stated that no assembly would be permitted within and around airport premises, including tarmacs, lounges and other sensitive security points.

'While the Force is not unaware of the constitutional rights of Nigerians to freedom of movement and assembly, it makes bold to state that the enjoyment of these rights must be situated within the bounds of the law and appropriate civil behaviour.

'The force therefore implores Nigerians to cooperate with the police in their effort at improving the maintenance of security at every nook and cranny of the airports,' it stated.

The police called on the elite to educate and enlighten their admirers and followers on the need to abide by the rules, noting that failure to comply with the rule would attract appropriate legal sanctions.