Passengers hustling and bustling in a bid not to miss their flights, security personnel at every corner maintaining law and order, taxis dropping off or picking up passengers. These are common scenes at airports round the world, including in Nigeria. However, as with all things Nigerian, there is a sharp difference. While these scenes play out all day and all night long in other airports, its strictly a daytime thing in Nigeria.
Sahara Reporters reveal that at night, the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, one of the busiest in Africa becomes a shadow of its former self, with the notable absence of security personnel. In several interviews Sahara Reporters held with airline workers and other frequent users of the airport, they voiced their concern about lax security and the apparent nonchalance of the Federal Government when it comes to securing the airport.
“All the police, Air force, DSS [Department of State Security], and Civil Defense operatives whose presence is so noticeable during day are nowhere to be found when it’s night,” one of the employees at the airport told our correspondent. He added, “If you look around very well, you would see that all the usual security spots in the afternoon are empty at night. Even the area with police signboard has no single policeman watching over it.”
As to what might be the reason for this, an airport worker observed that the security agents who were more concerned with extorting money from passengers disappeared at night time due to the low volume of flights at this period. Thus, only aviation security who are not allowed to carry arms are present at nighttime.
A question to ask though is ‘Who are those meant to supervise these security staff?’ Are they just not doing their job or are they in on the whole game? Possibly when a terrorist group takes over the airport, we will find answers to these salient questions.