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    Monday, July 1, 2024

    FAAN Decision to Deploy Armed Security Personnel at Int’l Airports Generates Mixed Reactions

    The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria’s (FAAN) decision to deploy armed security personnel at international airports has generated mixed reactions.

    There are mixed reactions to the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria’s (FAAN) decision to deploy armed Aviation Security (AVSEC) special force officers at international airports across the country.

    There are differing opinions on the development, and there have also been concerns raised about the growing number of armed security personnel.

    During discussions, certain aviation security specialists expressed concerns that the presence of firearms may not be appealing to international travelers who have a fear of guns. They suggested that this could potentially have a negative impact on the psychological well-being of travelers.

    Nevertheless, other parties advocated for the perspective to be discarded, elucidating that the sequence of events that transpired during the 1980s and 1990s rendered the development justifiable.

    Multiplication or application of arms

    The Chief Executive Officer of Centurion Security and Safety Consults, Group Captain John Ojikutu (retired), emphasize that aviation security does not solely rely on the proliferation or utilization of weapons.

    He said: “From the beginning to the end, it is profiling and screening. It is only when you have breaches that you can now bring them (armed men) in. It is in the contingency plan. Every airport has a contingency plan for aviation security.

    ”Those who come for the contingency plan are not part of aviation security, they come from outside. Real aviation security anywhere is not about arms carrying, it is the profiling, screening, the screening of carry-on luggage, screening of check-in baggage and the screening of cargo that would go inside the aircraft.


    “Everybody in the airport now is carrying arms, which is wrong. Customs is carrying arms, immigration is carrying arms, DSS is carrying arms, who is in control? If anything happens in that airport between one agency and another, they will start shooting one another.

    “Even the International Civil Aviation Organisation, ICAO, will be watching us from behind and they will be telling us that this is not part of it.

    ”Aviation people are carrying guns, the civil defence are in the airport carrying guns, the police are there too. What are they doing? Everybody wants to have a piece of the cake in the airport.”

    Prime target

    However, aviation security expert, Dr. Ayodele Obilana, offered a contrasting perspective, asserting that it is a global expectation for states to deploy armed security personnel at their airports.

    Obilana said: “According to ICAO, states are expected to deploy armed guards, following a series of incidents in the 80s and 90s. It is part of the life we live all over the world because aviation remains a prime target.

    ”For many reasons, aviation brings together people from different nationalities, cultures and countries.”

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