Diversion of flights: Fayose knocks FG ....Says Kaduna not safe

By Lere Olayinka
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Gov. Peter Ayo Fayose of Ekiti has said it is too risky and dangerous

to divert local and international flights from Abuja to Kaduna as

planned by the Federal Government.
In a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Idowu Adelusi,

Fayose gave knocks to the FG for what he said was its knee-jerk

approach to problems.
“They act before they think and they take decisions before consulting

critical stakeholders. That way, they always end up putting the cart

before the horse. That is how they have messed up the economy and now

have brought unprecedented grief, misery, poverty and suffering on

Nigerians”, he said.
The Federal Government has said it would close down the Abuja airport

for six weeks to repair the runway; during which period Abuja flights

will be diverted to Kaduna from where the Federal Government said they

would now be transported to Abuja.
The Airlines Operators of Nigeria has rejected the government’s plan,

insisting there are better ways of repairing the Abuja runway without

closing the airport. International airline operators and their

domestic counterparts are also opposed to the close-down option.

Fayose described the security situation of Kaduna and its environment

as worrisome, saying this alone disqualifies Kaduna. He also

complained about the dilapidated state of the Kaduna-Abuja road, which

he described as a “death-trap”.
“This same Kaduna is where Shiites waylaid a whole Chief of Army

Staff; the crisis created is yet to abate as the Shiites continue to

defy the authorities to mount public protests. This is the same Kaduna

where over a thousand citizens have been slaughtered like rams and the

FG has not brought a single of the murderers to book. The situation in

southern Kaduna and in other parts remains as tense as ever.

“This is the same Kaduna-Abuja death-trap of a road where a sitting

Minister of the Federal Republic, his wife and son lost their lives in

a road mishap. This is the same Kaduna-Abuja road where a Minister and

her husband were kidnapped in broad daylight.
“It is also on this same road that an Army officer was butchered;

where herdsmen parade their herds in broad daylight causing avoidable

accidents and other inconveniences to travellers. This is the same

road where Boko Haram and other criminally-minded hoodlums operate at

will”, he said.
He chided the government for taking a decision before assembling the

critical stakeholders, whose advice now runs against the grains of

government’s thinking. “Why are they always leaping before they look”,

he asked, saying that the decision to close down the Abuja airport

will further worsen the country’s economic recession.

“We will lose business to neighbouring countries; a government that is

parroting diversification of the economy will lose non-oil revenue. An

aviation sector that is in crisis before will have its situation

worsened. Expect more jobs to be lost in that sector, further

worsening the alarming unemployment problem in the country”, he said.

Aligning with the position of the airlines operators who are resisting

the Federal Government’s relocation order, Fayose said all the

necessary logistics, such as rehabilitation of the Kaduna-Abuja road,

provision of adequate security, and adequate consultation ought to

have been undertaken before the FG decided to go ahead with the plan.

He advised the government to immediately constitute a high-powered

team composed of Nigerians with the requisite expertise to handle this

very critical national assignment, stressing that our image as a

country is at stake because foreign nationals are involved.

“In Nigeria under the APC\Buhari administration, we seem to value cows

more than human lives but this is not the case with foreign

governments which place premium on the lives of their citizens. They

are not likely to allow our government gamble with the lives of their

citizens”, he added.
Assuring Nigerians and the international community that he would

continue to speak out whenever the occasion demands; the governor

advised the APC\Buhari administration to be courageous enough to admit

its mistakes and retrace its steps because so much is at stake.

“But by their nature, they are usually nonchalant. They believe

everything starts and ends with political power, which is very sad.

They must change this attitude because it is responsible for the

untold suffering that our people are going through today”, he added.

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