Southern Leaders Prevented From Travelling To Benue State

Some leaders of the south said yesterday they were prevented from flying to Makurdi, the Benus State capital, to attend a meeting of the Southern and Middle Belt regions on restructuring.

They told reporters in Abuja that they were told they could not fly to Makurdi on a charetred aircraft for security reasons.

President-General of Ohaneze Ndigbo Chief John Nwodo, who spoke on their behalf, said they spent about five hours at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja trying to obtain clearance for the journey but were refused, by the Commandant of the Makurdi Airport.

Nwodo said: “We arrived on time for our flight today (yesterday) at 12 noon. The airport commandant disallowed us from flying and said we needed to get permission to land in Makurdi.

“We consider this a fundamental infringement on our democratic rights of freedom of movement and freedom of association. There is nothing in our law precluding us from moving to wherever we like, from holding an opinion in so far as we do not breach any law in Nigeria.

“What has happened to us today expresses a lot of doom for fundamental human rights in our country, for the free exchange of ideas as unavoidable instruments of achieving growth and development of our polity.

“We deprecate the treatment that we were given today, which treatment prevented us from physical joining our brethren in the Middle Belt in a common view which we all hold, a very patriotic view, which we think will be the only way to guarantee the future of our country.” he said

Mr. Yinka Odumakin added: “As we were about to make payments, they said there was landing permit issues. They called the commandant in Makurdi, who said they should send an application.

“The Chief of Staff to the Benue State governor said we should fax the application to him and to the commandant. We waited at the airport for hours. Eventually, the Chief of Staff had to contact the commandant in Makurdi and was told that the landing permit requested by the first airline was still on their table.”

Some of the leaders later watched the live transmission of the conference in Chief Edwin Clark’s residence.


Chris Kehinde Nwandu is the Editor In Chief of CKNNEWS || He is a Law graduate and an Alumnus of Lagos State University, Lead City University Ibadan and Nigerian Institute Of Journalism || With over 2 decades practice in Journalism, PR and Advertising, he is a member of several Professional bodies within and outside Nigeria || Member: Institute Of Chartered Arbitrators ( UK ) || Member : Institute of Chartered Mediators And Conciliation || Member : Nigerian Institute Of Public Relations || Member : Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria || Fellow : Institute of Personality Development And Customer Relationship Management || Member and Chairman Board Of Trustees: Guild Of Professional Bloggers of Nigeria

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