Posted by Sade Williams
The Chairman House of Representatives Committee on Aviation, Honourable Nnolim Nnaji has described as unfortunate the alleged destruction of the Akanu Ibiam International Airport, (AIIA) perimeter fence by an indigene, Architect J J Emejulu.
Honourable Nnaji noted that all over the world, roperties are relinquished by citizens for overriding public interest adding that several other people including communities have lost their landed properties both for the airport use and for the relocation of the market that existed within the airport environment for the extension of the runway.
He said it was regrettable that such incident had to happen at the time the reopening of the airport which is very critical to the people of South East was in sight saying that as an international airport, perimeter fence remains a critical safety requirement for its operations.
According to him, ” this action taken by Emejulu is detrimental to the efforts being put in place by the Federal government, Southeast Governors, Southeast Caucus of the National Assembly, (NASS), the entire leaders and stakeholders of the South East extraction to bring the airport back to use for the benefits of the people of the region.”
Honourable Nnaji who acknowledged the commitments of the Minister of Aviation Captain Hadi Sirika, and the managements of the various agencies under the Aviation Ministry towards the completion of works and the subsequent reopening of the airport assured that no stone would left unturned to resolve the matter.
He praised the Minister for living up to his promise of technically relocating his office to Enugu for close and constant supervision of works at the airport until it is finally delivered.
The House Committee Chairman also noted the personal commitment of the Enugu State Governor, Right Honourable Ifeanyi Ugwuani especially in the construction of the access road to navigational aids sites and other ancillary works at the airport.
Architect Emeujulu had allegedly moved equipment to the location early on Wednesday with thugs and deployed earth moving equipment to knock down about two kilometres of the airport fence claiming that he had court judgement to demolish the fence and other illegal structures on his land.
He said he bought the land with a stretch of about four hundred plots from the natives in 2008.
The Akanu Ibiam International Airport was scheduled for reopening on the 30th of this month, he said adding that the Minister’s visit was to determine the extent of work done and to be certain if the August date was still feasible.