Attack: Normalcy returns to Kaduna airport, El-Rufa’i hails security agents

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Flight operations has returned to the Kaduna Airport after the aerodrome was temporarily disturbed on Friday following a terrorist attack on the Very High-Frequency (VHF) omnidirectional range (VOR) equipment site operated by the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) where they shot and killed a staff, Mallam Shehu Na’Allah, who was stationed at the perimeter fence and had raised alarm on sighting them.

Acting Managing Director of NAMA, Mr. Lawrence Pwajok, confirmed the incident.

He told our correspondent in Lagos that, “Yes it is true; bandits attacked our VHF omnidirectional range (VOR) equipment site at Kaduna civil airport around 12noon today and shot our security man attached to the equipment and he later died from the gunshot. However, currently, the Air Force engaged the bandits in counter-offensive.”

A combined team of security forces stationed within and around the airport engaged the terrorists in gun duel and repelled them, forcing the attackers to abandon motorbikes, according to the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN).

FAAN confirmed the attack on the Runway 05 axis of Kaduna airport but explained that “normalcy has since been restored at the airport. The team also recovered two motorbikes abandoned by the bandits.”

The agency spokesperson, Mrs Faithful Hope-Ivbaze, disclosed that ”additionally, a heavy reinforcement team from the Nigerian Defence Academy is on ground to ensure safety and security of airport workers/users just as the FAAN AVSEC Department has equally released operational vehicles to the team for patrol purposes.”

Kaduna state governor, Mallam Nasir El-Rufa’i, also commended the security forces for their prompt response to the attack, and for repelling the attackers.

A statement signed by the Commissioner, Ministry of Internal Security and Home Affairs, Mr. Samuel Aruwan, said the governor was saddened at the report of the casualty, and sent condolences to the family of the victim, while offering prayers for the repose of his soul.

Aruwan said: “Security forces are conducting operations in the airport general area. Further updates will be communicated to the public.”

Also on Sunday, the NAMA MD Mr Pwajok expressed shock at the death of the security operative, legionnaire.

He said: “It is with a deep sense of sorrow and regret that the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency announce the death of one of our Mallam Na’Allah was shot in an attack by bandits on Friday, March 25, 2022 while on security duty at Navigational equipment site (VOR) in the vicinity of Kaduna Airport and died on the way to the hospital.

“NAMA wishes to assure the general public that security forces stationed around the airport repelled the attack and normalcy has been restored.”

“The Management uses this opportunity to express her immense appreciation to staff for their selfless service, and hereby reassure them of the Agency’s unwavering commitment to their welfare, as well as collaborative efforts towards providing a safe and secure working environment,” the statement added.

Friday’s attack at the Kaduna International Airport comes exactly a year after terrorists besieged the staff quarters of the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) at the same airport and whisked away a number of persons in March 2021.

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