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North East lawmakers protest against ‘selective’ re-opening of airports

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• Re-elect Goje as caucus chairman
Members of the National Assembly from the North East geo-political zone have condemned the failure of the Federal Government to select any airport in the zone for re-opening.

The Federal Government had last week disclosed that five airports would be operational from June 21, while the others remained closed for further assessment.

This was contained in a circular to airlines signed by the Director-General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Capt. Musa Nuhu.

In the circular dated June 1, the NCAA stressed that the country’s airspace was still closed to international flights, while domestic flights could start from June 21, as announced by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19.

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The circular further reads: “The closure of Nigerian airports to domestic flights has been extended to 2300hrs on June 20, 2020.

“The gradual start of domestic flight operations will commence on June 21, 2020 with Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport, Abuja; Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos; Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport, Kano; Omagwa International Airport, Port Harcourt; and Sam Mbakwe Airport, Owerri.

“Other airports will be gradually added to the network after review and assessment.”

But in a statement signed by the Special Assistant on the North East Caucus of the National Assembly, Dabo Haruna, the lawmakers expressed disappointment with the Federal Ministry of Aviation for leaving out the entire zone among the airports to be opened on June 21. “The zone has several airports and at least one should have been selected like it was done to the other five zones.”

The caucus also, at its meeting last Saturday, had re-elected Senator Danjuma Goje (APC, Gombe) and Mohammed Tahir Monguno (Borno) as chairman and deputy chairman respectively.

The meeting was attended by almost all the members, including the President of the Senate, Ahmed Lawan.

The caucus also re-elected Senator Haliru Jika as secretary, Sen. Aishatu Dahiru Binani as treasurer, David Fuoh as publicity secretary and Tijjani Zakariya as financial secretary.

While thanking the Federal Government for its determination to construct the Mambila Power Project, the caucus, however, urged that the process be sped up to achieve the desired economic, political and social benefits with minimum delay.

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