Buhari inaugurates Enugu airport August 30 – Minister


The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), will inaugurate the Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu on August 30, 2020, the Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, has said.

The minister also decried the demolition of uncompleted perimeter fencing at the airport allegedly by one Jonathan Emejulu on Wednesday.

Emejulu was said to have on Wednesday demolished some structures including ongoing perimeter fence of the airport following an order of the Enugu State High Court which ceded the expanse of land in Airport Road Layout, Phase IV and V to him.

Previous attempts to execute the court order had reportedly failed due to alleged intervention of highly placed politicians from the state.

Emejulu in suit no. E/ 165M/2020 returned to the court through an application by Motion on Notice for the court to compel the Commissioner of Police, Enugu State and the Inspector General of Police to execute the court judgment.

But the Minister who briefed journalists after inspection of the rehabilitation work at the airport vowed that the Federal Government would use everything within its power to ensure that the man paid dearly for demolishing government security assets.

“The Federal Government will deal with him summarily so that before anybody can contemplate doing such thing in the future, the person must think twice.

“The demolition of two kilometers of perimeter fence is unacceptable to us. We will use him to set example to show that nobody, however powerful you are, should be above the law.”

He added, “When President Buhari was military Head of State, the destruction of public assets was so common that he had to promulgate Decree 25 to deal with the situation.

“Now we are in democracy; we are going to use the letters of the law to show the man that the Federal Republic of Nigeria has existing laws guiding against willful destruction of public assets.”

Sirika reiterated that Enugu airport was very strategic to the economy and security of the country, adding that it was why the Federal Government was interested in total rehabilitation of the airport.

The airport was shut down on August 24, 2019 by Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria following safety concerns raised about the runway.

The rehabilitation work was subsequently awarded. The airport was scheduled to be reopened for activity by December 2019 but, due to lack of funding the completion of work was shifted to April 2020.

 However, the reopening was delayed following the outbreak of coronavirus pandemic.

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