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Insecurity: FG deploys soldiers to guard northern airports

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By Cyril Mbah, Abuja

Following sustained attacks by bandits at Kaduna airport, a combined team of security operatives from the Nigerian Army, The DSS and the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) have taken over strategic positions in many airports in the northern parts of the country to prevent security breach by bandits and other criminal elements.

Prior to the recent development, airport security was the prerogative of personnel of the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) and NSCDC personnel.

However, following attacks and abductions of aviation workers from FAAN Estate, Kaduna, two weeks ago, the federal government ordered that security should be beefed up in all the airports in the north.

When reporters visited some of the airports to assess the situation, it was discovered that soldiers and Air Force personnel had replaced FAAN and Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) officials in the facilities.

Correspondents in many northern states where there are airports and air-strips said stern-looking armed soldiers had taken over the facilities and were on 24-hour guard duty.

In a related development, the Nigeria Police Force has gone into partnership and now collaborates with the African Union Mechanism for Police Cooperation (AFRIPOL), the International Police (INTERPOL) and other regional security bodies to combat illegal arms flow into Nigeria.

Force PRO, police commissioner Frank Mba, said the target of the police was to ensure that the supply of arms and ammunition from North Africa was properly checked and stopped.

The spokesman stated in Abuja that the collaboration had started yielding results as men of the Intelligence Response Team of the Inspector-General of Police had arrested some gun runners and the receivers.

He also explained that, in a recent operation, police officers recovered a total of 10 sophisticated, prohibited firearms, 2,496 AK-47 live ammunition, 10 live cartridges, cartons of tramadol drugs worth over N3 million, bags of substances suspected to be Indian hemp, two laptop computers and eight mobile phones. Some suspects were also arrested and they included Danjuma Bako, who is the major supplier of fire arms to bandits in Kaduna and Jos.

Bako, while speaking to journalists, confessed that he transported weapons to Jos and Kaduna, with his Golf vehicle.

He also said that, after each trip, he received N15, 000 as payment for the transportation.

Mba said luck ran out for the gang when operatives of the IGP Intelligence Response Team intercepted Bako during one of the operations. Another gang, which specialised in breaking into residential houses were arrested after successfully operating in Gwarinpa, Jabi, Gwagwa and Dei-Dei axes of Abuja.

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