- ‘ Cases of rape rise to 84% in Nigeria’
- Dana air crash update: 23 aircrash victims’ families yet to receive compensation
- Mimiko inaugurates new Mother & Child hospital today
- N4.56b pension scam: Female accused hospitalised,trial stalled
- Construction workers hail FG’s decision on Lagos-Ibadan expressway
- Senate adjourns plenary for 1 week, dissolves to Appropriation committee.
- Blackout looms as Egbin power plant breaks down
- FMBN, NEXIM, BOA, IB lose N47bn in 6 months - CBN
- FirstBank wins Nigerian Bank of the Year award
- PDP tackles ACN over Tukur’s comments
- Electricity workers threaten strike over Wamakko
- ‘NDIC prosecuted 55 directors, staff of micro finance banks in 2011’
- Judgment in Oni’s appeal stalled, re-fixed for Jan 8
- Slain banker: Deceased had only 3 wounds -Accused’s father
- Appointments: S/West not marginalised —FCC
September 11 and aviation security
Precisely 10 years ago, September 11, 2001,a gang of terrorists in their wicked act,added a new style of operation into their pattern of shedding blood.
These terrorists shocked the whole world when on that Tuesday morning, 19 of them from the deadly Al-Qaeda group hijacked four passenger jets.
The hijackers intentionally crashed two planes, American Airlines Flight 11 and United Airlines Flight 175, into the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in New York City; both towers collapsed within two hours.
The hijackers also crashed another American Airlines Flight 77 into the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, while the fourth jet, United Airlines Flight 93, crashed into a field near Shanks Ville, Pennsylvania, after passengers attempted to take control before it could reach the hijacker's intended target in Washington, D.C. About 3,000 people died in the attacks.
Since the September 11 events, aviation security has received much attention and huge resources have been spent to make both domestic and global aviation systems safer.
Several measures have been put in place to checkmate terrorist attacks and threats to aviation safety. These involved more thorough screening procedures for passengers and their baggage whereby passengers go through metal detectors; carry-on bags are x-rayed, checked baggages pass through an explosive detection system, and passengers are required to remove their shoes, while carry-on liquids are prohibited.
In order not be left behind, the Nigerian government like other governments across the world, introduced tougher measures in its airports, especially the international gateways.
It is on record that the Federal Government, through the assistance of developed nations such as the United States and Britain, was able to install security gadgets like 3D body scanners and metal detectors at the airports, while security has been beefed up to make it difficult for bad elements to perpetrate any terrorism act through the airports.
Security was tightened further after the unfortunate incident which involved the Nigerian born Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, who tried to bomb a United Airline which took off from Lagos en route Detroit, Michigan.
With such attempts made by the terrorists even after 9/11 to carry out more attacks, it is instructive that all hands must remain on the deck to avoid being caught unawares.
At this juncture, the Federal Government needs to do more at this critical time that suicide bombers have found their way into the country as witnessed in the on-going sophisticated bombings across the country in their desperate bid to unleash terrorism on people which the government, some years back never envisaged.
It is based on this development that more still needs to be done at the country’s airports in view of the lapses presently on ground as many airports lack facilities like perimeter fences such that animals stray in unrestricted.
There is also serious need to reduce the number of people having access to the airports, especially the international airports. Using the Murtala Muhammed Airport as example, there are so many people not having anything doing that are still found at the airport.
This brings to fore the manner the toll gate collection at the international wing of the airport has been thrown open to all manner of vehicles, all in the name of making money for the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) without recourse to security implications.
Against the backdrop of the increase in terrorism in Nigeria, there is an urgent need for government to pay serious attention to its aviation industry through more adequate funding for the purpose of increasing security network at the airports, as it has become obvious now that the terrorists have shifted the battle ground to aviation. Therefore, it will be risky for any government to ignore its aviation sector this time. This is a wake-up call.
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