The management of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa has reorganised its security operations at the protocol lounge, as stringent security measures have been put in place to checkmate unwanted disagreement among external security aides.
The measures, The Tide gathered, were introduced to fore-stall a repeat of what transpired between security aides to the wife of the Minister of Transportation Dame Judith Amaechi and airline workers recently at the airport, where there was a “free-for- all fight’’ at the tarmac.
Already, the FAAN Management has placed a restriction, stopping all security aides with arms from entering the VIP/Protocol gate, including the police, military and the DSS Operatives escorting their principals.
The restriction notices have already been put at strategic places, banning all armed escorts from entering into the premises at the Lounge, while proper check is being mounted by the Aviation Security Personnel (AVSEC)at the entrance gate.
Also, movement at the boarding gate that used to be flexible has now been restricted. Before now, many Security aided to political Office holders were allowed into the boarding gate or screening point for onward movement to the tarmac but have been restricted to only the protocol person and the personal assistant.
The Tide had observed that armed security operatives that were usually into the protocol lounge, with their operational vehicles, are now kept outside the gate with their arms.
AVSEC officials are seen always on their feet to check and ensure that the order is obeyed, as every vehicle that enters the gate is screened to ensure that armed security do not enter the gate, as it is no longer business as usual.
Meanwhile, some airport users have commended the efforts put in place by FAAN officers to check a repeat of such fracas, which then said could be disastrous.
According to one of the air passengers, Victor Egelege, if proper check is not put in place, supporters of the two major political parties in Rivers State would kill themselves when the 2019 elections begin.
On his part, an official of AVSEC who does not want his name published, opined that the build-up to the 2019 election and the tension in Rivers State might escalate to the airport, if every aide and supporters of these parties are allowed, even with arms into the lounge.
It would be recalled that aides to Judith Amaechi got offended two Saturdays ago, when the doors of the aircraft (Air Peace Airline)in which she was supposed to fly were closed against her due to a check –in delay.
The aides right at the foot of the aircraft started to beat-up officials of the airline, including the dispatcher of the aircraft.