We refute with all the emphasis at our disposal the report that a group of Fulani herdsmen and their herd of cattle invaded the newly-built and commissioned Anambra State International Cargo and Passenger Airport, Umueri.
Nothing could be further from the truth. Even by the standard of sensational journalism, the report took fiction too far. There was no case of cattle herders gaining “entry from the Umueri route to the airport, destroying farms close to the airport.”
The report does not make any mention of even cross-checking with the Anambra State government that built the airport and runs it, or the airport security or even the police.
Some envious elements within the political firmament have gone to great lengths to run down the landmark achievement of building the state-of-the-art airport by Governor Willie Obiano of Anambra State in record time, but it goes beyond the pale trying to manufacture fictions about a fanciful Fulani cattle invasion.
The cattle being bred in the Umueri area for many years belong to Anambra State farmers and investors, not to any imagined Fulani invaders. The perimeter fencing of the airport is up-to-date and cannot be breached easily, not by man or even far less by cattle. The security is sophisticatedly electronic and manual.
The reckless journalism of inventing fictions and appealing to the base indulgencies of opposition partisan political elements deserves condemnation by all Nigerians.
Two of Nigeria’s most reputable airline companies, Allen Onyema’s Air Peace and Obiora Okonkwo’s United Nigeria Airlines, are already running regular flights to and fro Anambra State International Cargo and Passenger Airport, and the passengers have never ever complained about security at the airport.
The public should be conscious of attempts to spin fibs to run down well-constituted projects designed to enhance Nigeria’s development. Anambra International Cargo and Passenger Airport remains an eloquent testament that uplifting things is possible in the Nigerian public space, and no amount of reckless journalism can drag down a plane already up in flight.
Any further clarifications on this matter can easily be assessed through the airport security, the police or the Anambra State government. The arm-chair journalism of manufacturing fibs to pursue a partisan political agenda stands condemned.
Anambra State International Cargo and Passenger Airport is in no danger of being breached by cattle or humans. There is no panic whatsoever. The normal farming activities of Anambra cow-owning villagers near the airport should not be magnified by sponsored elements into viral tosh.
C. Don Adinuba
Anambra State Commissioner for Information & Public Enlightenment