The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) and the Lagos State Police Command on Sunday said that the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos has never been under attack by any terrorist group as alleged in some quarters during the weekend.
In an effort to set the records straight, the Air force said ‘Operation Thunderbolt’, was a simulation exercise carried out by its special forces to practice defensive approaches in the event of any breaches over than two years ago.
A statement titled ‘Re: Murtala Mohammed International Airport Not Under Attack’ issued by the Director of NAF Public Relations and Information, Air Commodore Ibikunle Darmola, reads: “The attention of the Nigerian Air Force, NAF, has been drawn to a video clip currently circulating on various social media platforms purportedly showing a terrorist attack at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, MMIA, in Ikeja Lagos.
“NAF wishes to state categorically that MMIA was not and has never been under any attack.
“The video being circulated shows an airport security simulation exercise, tagged Thunderbolt, which took place on November 8, 2016.
“The exercise was aimed at practicing NAF personnel and other security agencies at MMIA on actions to be taken in the event of an attack on the Airport.
“The public is, therefore, advised to disregard the video and also endeavour to refrain from sharing or uploading unverified videos, pictures or articles so as not to cause panic.
“The NAF wishes to assure all local and international travellers that our airports remain safe and that they can go about their travels without any fear.”
The Lagos State Police Command also assured members of the public that MMIA remains “safe, secure and not under any form of terrorist attack.”
It also vowed to prosecute those behind the rumour.
A statement by spokesman of the Lagos State Police Command, CSP Chike Oti said, “In view of the disturbing video, authorities of Lagos State Police Command contacted the Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of operations at the Airport Command and he said the video was that of a simulation exercise carried out by the Nigerian Airforce with other agencies at the airport three years ago.”