Flight activities at the Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu, is being sabotaged by some people, especially staff of the Federal Ministry of Aviation, to give the impression that it was not suitable for international flight operations.
This was the position of some stakeholders in the South East, who also described the condition of the Akanu Ibiam International Airport as an embarrassment to the entire geo-political and Nigeria at large.
The stakeholders, therefore, appealed to the South East Governors Forum to equip the airport with vehicles that will convey passengers from the landing ground to the arrival hall, as well as other facilities to ease the sufferings of passengers using the airport.
Spokesman of the stakeholders and Chairman of Osakwe Industrial Cluster, Onitsha, Mr. Johnson Okolo, who recently came back from a foreign trip and landed at the airport with other passengers from within and outside the country, including the wife of late Ikemba Nnewi, Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu and former Ambassador of Nigeria to Spain, Mrs. Bianca Ojukwu, made the call while addressing newsmen in Onitsha, Anambra State.
He said “Akanu Ibam International Airport is the only Federal Government establishment in the South East that is functioning, and should not be allowed to be grounded, especially when some people are not happy that South East has an International Airport.
“Some people working in the airport are sabotaging its activities. There is a grand plan by some people to sabotage operations at the airport and we are warning that enough is enough of this sabotage. We are also calling on the Federal Government to expedite action on the work at the airport and also investigate the activities of all the aviation workers and other officials in the airport to know why some anomalies are going on in the airport”.
Mr. Okolo, who claimed that he, Mrs. Ojukwu and other countries nationals, who used the Akanu Ibiam International Airport were stranded for one and half hour waiting for the only bus that is used in conveying the passengers from the landing ground to the arrival hall, said a private vehicle had to be provided by somebody to drop them at the arrival hall.
“Keeping the late Ikemba’s wife and former Ambassador of Nigeria to Spain hours was an insult to Igbo people and Nigeria in general, keeping foreign nationals for so long in the airport because only one bus is being used for that shuttle service was an embarrassment for Nigeria as a country.
“Even when the lone bus used for that shuttle service from the landing ground to the arrival hall finally arrived, it had faulty air conditioner and the doors of the bus had to be opened for air to come in for the passengers, just as dust also came in for the passengers to inhale, that was another embarrassment to the country”, he stated.
NGTrends reports that the Akanu Ibiam International Airport was upgraded to international status by late President Umaru Yaradua in 2008 with former President Goodluck Jonathan commissioning the remodeled airport and laying the foundation for a new international terminal in 2013.