By Julius Toba-Jegede
Abuja – The Senate on Tuesday advised the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), to beef up security around all the airports in the country to check menace of drug trafficking.
This followed a motion moved by Sen. Ibrahim Oloriegbe (APC-Kwara Central), and six others who called attention of their colleagues to recent alleged security beaches at the airports.
In the motion, the senator recalled how a Nigerian, Zainab Aliyu, was mistakenly arrested by the Saudi Drug Enforcement Agency over allegation of drug trafficking.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), reports that Zainab and two other Nigerian citizens were eventually saved from execution by the Saudi Government.
Oloriegbe also noted how Zamfara-born Alaramma Ibrahim, was arrested at the Malam Aminu Kano International Airport, Kano, and later spent also two years in Saudi detention camp over a similar allegation.
He said that both victims were believed to have been framed up by some scrupulous officials at the airports.
“The Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), the Nigeria Police, the Nigeria Customs Service, the Nigerian Immigration Service and other aviation security personnel are responsible for the security of our airports.
“Sadly, some of the staff of these agencies may not be exonerated for dereliction of duties and making our airports unsafe.
“Some of the actions of some of the airport personnel may continue to attract international embarrassment, loss of opportunities by our citizens outside the shores of Nigeria.”
NAN reports that among senators who made contributions to the motion are: Sen. Uche Ekwunife ( PDP-Anambra South), Sen. Dayo Adeyeye (APC-Ekiti South), Ifeanyi Uba (YPP-Anambra South) and Sen. Rochas Okorocha (APC-Imo West).
The lawmakers all raised concern on the issues raised in the motion, and called for urgent actions by the Senate and the Federal Government.
After a voice vote called by President of the Senate, Dr Ahmad Lawan, it was resolved that “FAAN should ensure installation and usage of effective CCTV cameras and other security systems in all Nigerian airports.”
The Senate said this would ensure the monitoring of airport environments and avoid further planting of illicit drugs and other activities.
The Senate also mandated FAAN to ensure that only accredited personnel are allowed to restricted areas of the airports, and called for the prosecution of officials on duty anytime such crimes were committed. (NAN)