Abuja Airport Closure: Senate disagrees with Shehu Sani on Kaduna airport

The Senate on Tuesday opposed the planned closure of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, for six-weeks so the airport runway can be repaired.

The Senate argued that the diversion of flights to Kaduna Airport as an alternative route would pose a major security risk to Nigerians.

In a motion sponsored by Senator Hope Uzodinma, representing Imo West Senatorial District, the Senate stated that operations run while repairs were ongoing.

Uzodinma stated that:

“We are aware of the logistics and security challenges the diversion of Abuja bound flights to Kaduna will throw up, including endangering of the lives and properties of international and local air travelers who will be forced to travel by land from Kaduna to Abuja.”

All Senators who contributed to the debate supported it with the exception of Senator Shehu Sani, APC, Kaduna Central. According to Sani, whose constituency would see more traffic with the diversion of traffic to Kaduna argued that “we create hell for Nigeria yet, we want to live in paradise,” arguing that there were some states that lack airport facilities but people travel by land to neighbouring states to fly.

He argued that using Kaduna airport will allow citizens the opportunity to see “the beautiful scenery of Kaduna.” Concluding the debate, Senator Saraki said: “Where else in the world are things done this way? The idea of total closure of the Abuja Airport is not the best option. Therefore, the Senate Aviation Committee should meet with the relevant ministers and heads of aviation agencies within the next two days for an option and report back to the Senate within a week for final decision over the matter.”

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