ABUJA – Senate of the Federal Republic yesterday resolved to summon the ministers of Federal Capital Territory, Transportation, and Works, Power and Housing, Messrs Rotimi Amaechi, Mohammed Bello and Babatunde Fashola respectively, and the Minister of State for Aviation, Sen. Hadi Sirika, on alleged closure of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport.
They are to meet with the Senate within two days (between Wednesday and Thursday) with a view to exploring “other options that can avoid a total closure of the Airport”.
Also to be invited to meet with the Senate are the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadiq Abubakar and the Managing Directors of the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) and the Nigeria Airport Management Agency (NAMA).
This is even as the Senate condemned in strong terms, the destruction of life and property in Kaduna and other parts of Nigeria and resolved to set up an ad-hoc committee, to look into the remote and immediate causes of the crises in the Southern Kaduna, make recommendations and report back in four weeks.
The Senate resolutions followed a motion by Sen. Hope Uzodinma (limo West) and five others, who noted with concern, alleged decision of FAAN to close the Abuja Airport for six weeks beginning from March 6, 2017.
They feared that a complete shot down of the airport would impact negatively on international trade and related activities, with a multiplier effect that can exact further pressure on an already recessed national economy.
Opposing the motion, Sen. Shehu Sani (Kaduna Central) asserted: “we create hell for Nigeria yet, we want to live in paradise”, arguing that there were some states who lack airport facilities but travel by land to neighbouring states to fly.
He therefore enjoined his colleagues to support the temporary movement of the international airport to Kaduna, as it has would afford the citizens the opportunity “the beautiful scenery of Kaduna”.
Also, the Kaduna crises was brought to the Senate by Sen. Danjuma La’ah (Kaduna South), who bemoaned that since 2011, various communities in Southern Kaduna have been consistently attacked by herdsmen resulting in deaths, injuries, loss of properties and displacements of communities.
He also recalled the carnage of December 23, 2016 where 808 persons were killed in 53 villages, while 57 people were injured, farm produce of about N5.5 billion were destroyed and 1,422 houses and 16 churches were burnt during the attack.