Airport threat: National Security Adviser tries to douse tension over leaked memo

Aviation unions

 

The Federal Government has assured Nigerians that there is no threat to the nation’s airports in any form.

The assurance is coming on the heels of the panic created by a leaked memo from the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA).

The leak also caused anxiety in some airports and among stakeholders.

The leaked memo titled: “RE: LOOMING THREAT OF ATTACK ON NATION’S AIRPORTS”, was dated April 15 and signed by Director (Joint Services), P. O. Egbodo.

It reads in part: “I am directed to forward herewith letter from the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) with Ref. No. NSA/366/S dated 6 April, 2021 on the above subject and to request you to liaise/partner with all Airports Management nationwide and other stakeholders to upgrade the existing security measures around the nation’s airports in the interim, to prevent such threats.

“Please accept the assurances of the warm regards of the Minister.”

However, the Office of the National Security Adviser said on Thursday that the memo was a mere advisory to security agencies to liaise with airport management to upgrade existing security measures at the nation’s airports.

ONSA described the advisory as a “routine threat assessment” to ensure the preparedness of all relevant agencies.

The clarifications were made in a statement by the Head of Strategic Communication in the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA), Z.M. Usman.

“The attention of the Office of the National Security Adviser has been drawn to reports of a threat to the nation’s airports from an internal government correspondence.

“The correspondence was a routine threat assessment to ensure the preparedness of agencies and not meant for public dissemination.

“In the period covered by the correspondence, threat analysis identified the need to advise airports’ management nationwide to upgrade existing security measures around the nation’s airports.

“Regrettably, the unauthorised release of this advisory is likely to raise fear among airport users home and abroad.

“Accordingly, this statement is issued to reassure the public and all aviation stakeholders of the safety of our airports.

“The security and intelligence services will continue to monitor security threats and provide the assessment and timely advice required by airports’ management to continuously upgrade security measures in the airports,” the statement read.

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