The Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) has responded to denials by Governor Ahmadu Fintiri of Adamawa State and former governor of Zamfara State, Abdulaziz Yari, over the agencies accusations that they both violated the health guidelines approved by the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 at Port Harcourt and Kano airports respectively.
In a statement issued by the General Manager, Public Affairs, Mrs. Henrietta Yakubu on Friday, July 17, the agency that the health and safety of passengers are paramount to them and anything that will jeopardise it will not be tolerated.
She said that henceforth, any passenger who disobeys the stipulated protocols, no matter how highly placed, will be denied access to the airport and that the agency will not be deterred in implementing its Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) to ensure the success of its security and public health protocols in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
She said FAAN will continue to enforce the protocols and advised all air travelers to adhere strictly to same.
According to her, the recent incident involving three VIPs is not personal but that the agency was merely implementing its SOPs.
“The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) notes with dismay, two acts of infractions on the rules and guidelines for air passengers and airport users. The first incident occurred on Saturday, July 11, 2020, at the Aminu Kano International Airport,
when the former governor of Zamfara State, Alhaji Abdulaziz Yari, declined to adhere to the Port Health protocols and procedures.
“The second incident occurred on Tuesday, July 14, 2020, when the Governor of Adamawa State, Ahmadu Fintiri, arrived at the Port Harcourt International Airport, in company of eight other passengers. He also fragrantly refused to observe the airport security and port health protocols.
“As a responsible institution of the Federal Government of Nigeria, FAAN holds all officials of state in high esteem, and accords them all the courtesies their status deserves. Therefore, FAAN has no personal issues with Alhaji Abdulaziz Yari and Governor Fintiri.
“We are merely implimenting our standard operating procedures (SOPs) to assure the success of our Security and Public health Protocols. The protocols flouted by both personalities were duly approved by the Federal Government through the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19.They were intended to protect all airport users, and to curb the spread of COVID-19 pandemic.
“By their actions, the two personalities put at risk not only themselves, but also other airport users. These protocols are now part of the new normal all over the world and no person, no matter how highly placed, is exempted from them, else he would be denied access to our facilities.
“FAAN wishes to restate the need for all air travelers to strictly adhere to the security, Public health and operational protocols put in place to make air travel in the country safe, secure, and efficient,especially in the midst of this pandemic.
“Our esteemed government officials and other Very Important Personalities (VIP) should not only comply with the rules, but provide leadership for other air travelers, by projecting good conduct, and protecting public safety. FAAN will continue to enforce the protocols, and advise all air travelers to adhere strictly to same,” FAAN said.
On Thursday, July 16, the agency accused Fintiri of refusing to observe the airport security and public health protocols as directed by the Federal Government through the PTF on COVID19 by refusing to have his temperature checked, or being sanitised by the health officials.
The agency said Fintiri arrived Port Harcourt International Airport aboard aircraft 5N-IZY, at 17:08 hrs on 14th July 2020 with eight people in his entourage who did exactly as he did.
Fintiri’s team was also reported
to have driven right through the barricades up to the terminal building ignoring traffic and aviation security instructions when they came to receive him.
On Wednesday, July 15, FAAN also accused Yari of violating public health procedures on travels at the Aminu Kano International Airport on Saturday 11th July 2020.
The agency said Yari refused to adhere to the protocols and procedures put in place by the Federal Government through the PTF on COVID19 by forcefully pushing away an officer of the Environment department when he insisted that his luggage must be disinfected.
The former Governor reportedly refused that his luggage will be disinfected, saying that the airport officer should have known he is a VIP. According to the Minister of Aviation, Captain Hadi Sirika, the COVID-19 flight guidelines were approved by President Muhammadu Buhari.
However, both men denied the allegations but the Minister for Aviation, Captain Hadi Sirika assured that violators of tge guidelines will be procecuted.