Reps invite security heads over Kaduna airport, shuttle train attacks, as military clarifies on invasion


House of Representatives has invited heads of relevant security agencies over the recent attacks on the Kaduna international airport and the Abuja- Kaduna train.

This is also as the Nigerian military issued a clarification on the reported armed attack at the Kaduna airport facility, saying the incident occurred a distance from the main terminal.

The Kaduna airport perimeter was invaded by terrorists killing a security personnel attached to the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) at the facility, while the Abuja-Kaduna train shuttle came under heavy attack by terrorists who killed seven passengers while abducting 29 others, with up to 15 sustaining various degrees of injuries in the invasion.

The invitation of the security chiefs by the House followed a unanimous adoption of a motion of urgent national importance sponsored by a member from Enugu State Nnolim Nnaji at plenary.

“The situation is very unfortunate as airport operations have been suspended as well as the rail transport system, meaning that travelers to Kaduna can only travel by road which is also known to be very dangerous due to the notoriety of the bandits on that route,” said Nnaji.

Nnaji who is the Chairman, House Committee on Aviation stressed the need to reinforce security surveillance and personnel in all airports as well as protect other means of transportation in the country to protect the lives of innocent Nigerians.

The lawmaker stressed the need to put in place perimeter fencing in all airports adding that the attacks if not properly addressed may escalate to other parts of the country.

It would be recalled that the Senate had earlier called on the Army and Air Force to, as a matter of urgency, bombard terrorist enclaves across the country to restore peace and stability.

The call formed part of the resolution reached at the plenary on the continuing attacks on communities and public facilities in Kaduna State.

In a motion moved by Sen. Uba Sani (APC- Kaduna), the lawmaker who said that terrorists had in recent times increased attacks on communities and public facilities in Kaduna, informed that the latest attacks took place in some communities in Giwa Local Government, including Angwan Sarki Yahya, Tashar Shari, Bare-Bari, Tsaunin Natal, Dillalai, Durumi and Jatin Kanwa, all in Yakawada Ward.

“They killed 50 persons and kidnapped over 100 people. They also made strategic roads in Giwa Local Government no go areas.

“Not done with their devilish acts, they made an attempt to penetrate the Kaduna International Airport. Although the attack was foiled by vigilant security operatives, one person lost his life.

When people were trying to come to grips with a week-long wanton destruction of lives and property, the terrorists struck again.

“The train derailed after the first wave of attacks. Grenades and RPG were used. They rained bullets on all the coaches and some passengers were killed, while many sustained bullet wounds,” he noted.

Sani explained that the establishment of state police would bring law enforcement closer to the people.

Contributing, Sen. Gabriel Suswam (PDP-Benue) said that Kaduna state had become the new theatre of insecurity, adding that the lingering activities of terrorists in the state made it imperative for the appropriate authorities to take decisive action.

Suswam attributed the inability of the military to curtail growing incidents of terrorism to a clear failure of leadership.

Sen. Danjuma La’ah (PDP-Kaduna) said if the security situation in the country was not nipped in the bud, political leaders would become the main targets of terrorists.

The senate urged President Muhammadu Buhari, to declare full scale war against terrorists, to fully secure all national territory, further directing security agencies to take steps to prevent the occurrence of similar incidence in the future.

It added that the military should monitor the inhabitants of new shanties around the Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport, Abuja.

The upper chamber urged the relevant agencies of government to step up their information gathering mechanism to, forestall the incessant attacks.

It also called on the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and other relevant agencies to assist the affected communities with relief materials.

The Senate observed a minute silence in honour of the victims of the Monday attacks.

Meanwhile, military authorities have assured of safety and security at the Kaduna airport facility, as they claimed that the terror attack was a distance from the terminal.

Garrison Command 1 Division Nigerian Army, Brig-General Uriah Opuene and Air Force Base Commander, Air Commodore Ademuyiwa Adedoyin who led journalists on an assessment tour of the scene of the attack, Tuesday, said the Kaduna International Airport has several layers of security, and that even the first layer was not breached.

He stated that preliminary investigations revealed that the bandits were just passing through the back of the Airport towards Riyawa village, and sighted the security man engaged by the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) to watch over their metrological equipment around the axis.

“As you can see, this place is about six kilometers away from the Airport terminal. The bandits were only passing behind the airport perimeter fence when they saw the security man engaged by NAMA and they fired at him. They just took advantage of that to pass a message.

“So, as you can see from the distance, the insinuation outside that the terrorists took over the Airport is not correct. If the terrorists had entered, they would have met us there,” he said.

Also speaking, Air Commodore Adedoyin, the NAF Base Commander also explained that security around the Airport general area had been beefed up since the security of the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA) was breached last year, adding that bandits don’t have the audacity to attack the Kaduna Airport.

He added that the State Government was engaging citizens in communities around the Airport to scale up intelligence gathering.

He assured that there was no threat to the immediate vicinity of the Airport because the military were ahead of the bandits.

Responding with information on the casualty figures suffered in Monday night’s terrorist attack on a Kaduna bound shuttle train from Abuja, the Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC) in a list made available to newsmen, said the injured passengers were Haruna Muhammed; Mohammed Modibo; Ibrahim Wakili; Yakubu Nuhu; Abdulahi Yahay; Ismail Saidu; Abdumalik Rasheedat; Umar Mohammed.

Others include; Hadiza Umar; Musa Ishawan; Aisha Yusuf; Mohammed Ameen; Abubakar Hauwau; Aliyu Sulaiman; Olaosebikan Bilikisu and Mrs Leola Abdulbasit.

Managing-Director of NRC, Engineer Fidet Okhiria, said information from the scene of the attack at the moment indicated that seven people died from the attack on Monday night.

According to the NRC MD, “What we have been told for now is that seven people are dead. I am, however, at the Airport in Lagos right now. I have to get there to monitor developments myself.”

Among the seven confirmed dead was Musa Lawal Ozigi, who was the Secretary-General of the Trade Union Congress (TUC).