Chinelo Obogo, Lagos
The government of Adamawa State has denied allegations by the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) that state governor Ahmadu Fintiri had failed to observe COVID-19 public health protocols last Tuesday at Port Harcourt airport, suggesting that the claim was politically-motivated.
The Director-General, Media and Communication to Fintiri, Solomon Kumangar, said that FAAN’s allegations were a far cry from the events that took place at the airport, declaring that the governor had observed all the protocols he was asked to follow.
The governor’s aide said Fintiri was in Port Harcourt that Tuesday night where he attended a strategic meeting ahead of the Edo election with other PDP governors at the instance of the River State Governor, Nyesom Wike before he (Fintiri) addressed the press on the outcome of the meeting.
Kumangar wondered why an event that took place on Tuesday could gain such prominence if there was no ulterior motive by the Federal Government.
He also dismissed FAAN’s claim that the governor had eight persons in his entourage, saying that only six persons followed the governor to Port Harcourt.
The spokesman challenged FAAN to make public the video of the event to allow the public to judge what transpired.
‘One wonders how falsehoods can be concocted in such a manner to rubbish the image of a law-abiding citizen of our dear country,’ he said.
‘The governor obeyed all the protocols he was asked to follow when he arrived the terminal building so we are shocked at escalating reports that he breached protocols.
‘Even the FAAN staff on duty didn’t know that it was a governor that was passing by because he conducted himself without any attempt to draw attention to himself that he was a VIP.
‘This is a mere political witch hunt against perceived opposition parties, the unfortunate allegations are not unconnected with the forthcoming governorship election coming up in Edo state. The governor was in Port Harcourt to strategise with other governors in the PDP and he as the vice-chairman of party’s campaign team for the Edo election later addressed the press on the outcome of the meeting,’ Kumangar said.
On Thursday, July 16, FAAN had accused Fintiri of refusing to observe the airport security and public health protocols as directed by the Federal Government through the PTF on COVID-19 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 July 14 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.