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Bad weather forces Buhari to cancel visit to Bauchi


President Muhammadu Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari

The presidency on Thursday said the “prevailing weather conditions in the country” has forced President Muhammadu Buhari to cancel his scheduled visit to Bauchi to commission projects by the state government including an Air Force medical facility.

“We make our plans, God makes His own plans,” President Buhari said in a statement.

According to the statement, “uncooperative weather which has been the bane of air travel in the current harmattan season, leading to the delay and cancellation of flights, reared its head in Abuja Airport this morning, preventing the take-off of the President’s plane for the trip to Bauchi.”

The statement signed by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu said, the technical information received from the weather station showed that visibility as at this morning (Thursday) was 600 meters, 200 metres short of the 800 metres minimally required for a safe aircraft take-off.

“According to the information available, the visibility was expected to drop to 300 metres before improving to permissible limit later in the day.

“The commander of the Presidential Air Fleet, Air Commodore Hassan Abubakar, said that the Presidential Aircraft was in perfect condition, the weather in Bauchi was alright, but that the problem was in Abuja.

In cancelling the visit to the state, the media aide said President Buhari expressed regret over the disruption caused by the bad weather.

“In a recorded audio and video message, he said he looked forward to the visit in the course of which he was to commission an Air Force medical facility and a number of other projects by the state government. He said he also intended to thank the people for their relentless support in all his political undertakings. ”

While thanking the Government and people of Bauchi State and the Nigerian Air Force for the studious and elaborate preparations made to receive him, President Buhari assured that he would visit the state at a more auspicious time.

Meanwhile, the Minister of State for Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, in his reaction, said the Federal Government is planning to upgrade the Instrument Landing Systems (ILS), at the country’s major airports, to ensure that they are working better.

This, he said, is with a view to minimising the sort of flight disruptions that have featured every harmattan season.

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