- The minister of Aviation Hadi Sirika has revealed the reason behind the search on former vice president Atiku Abubakar on his return from Dubai
- The minister said the search was a routine one and that it was carried out respectively
- He however cautioned that the search should not be mischievously used to grab headlines
Hadi Sirika, minister of state for Aviation, has revealed that the search carried out on the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic party, Atiku Abubakar was a routine check and as such, should not be mischievously used to grab headlines.
The minister also revealed that the former vice president was granted his due respect during the routine search.
Recall that Legit.ng had reported that the PDP presidential candidate on his arrival from a meeting in Dubai had tweeted that he was searched by airport officials.
“I arrived to Abuja this morning to a search by agents of the state, aimed at intimidating me and my staff. I am committed to building a Nigeria where no citizen is intimidated by agents of state who are paid to protect them,” the tweet read.
However, the aviation minister in a statement made available by the presidency said that: 'while it is true that the Task Force on Currency at the airport did the routine action of checking the former vice president’s travel bag, he was accorded full respect as a senior citizen'.
The minister's full statement read.
'This is a mischievous attempt to grab the headlines. Nigerians need to know that one of the resolutions of the Atiku team at their recently-concluded, opulently-held Dubai retreat was to embark on scaremongering. This is one of such.
"For the records, all incoming passengers on international flights go through customs, Immìgration, health and security screening.
"Where the aircraft is using the private, charter wing, as the PDP Candidate did, such arrivals are met by a team of the Immìgration, customs and other security agencies. They go to the arriving aircraft as a team. The airport authorities confirm that this is a routine process, applying to all international arrivals, including the minister unless the passenger is the President of Nigeria. The President, the vice president and passengers aboard planes on the Presidential air fleet use the Presidential wing of the airport.
"It is also important to state that even in the Presidential Wing of the airport the President of Nigeria uses, there is the presence of Immìgration and other security officials who must stamp his or her passport on arrival.
"By standard procedure, all aircraft on international arrivals must first of all park at the international wing of the aircraft. They can move to the domestic terminal only upon the completion of the arrival processes.
"While it is true that the Task Force on Currency at the airport did the routine action of checking the former vice president’s travel bag, he was accorded full respect as a senior citizen.
"These checks are mandatory, conventional, internationally applied and routine. No one is excused from them under our laws. These checks are carried out on all international arrivals and President Buhari does not get involved in them.
"Law-abiding citizens are encouraged to respect the laws of the country and our VIPs should not seek to be treated over and above the citizens they wish to serve."
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Meanwhile, Legit.ng had reported that the wife of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential aspirant Hajiya Titi Abubakar said that her husband was not a thief and would never steal if elected.
Mrs Abubakar made the remark when Atiku Women Prayer Group visited in her residence in Abuja. She said Atiku is rich and contented and was never in the race to steal money.
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