Atiku’s harassment claim is a mischievous attempt to grab the headlines: FG

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The Federal Government has reacted to accusations that the former Vice President and Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP), Atiku Abubakar was harassed by government officials at the airport.

In a press statement issued from the office of the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, the government said Nigerians need to know that one of the resolutions of the Atiku team at their recently-concluded Dubai retreat was to embark on scaremongering and this is one of them.

“For the records, all incoming passengers on international flights go through customs, Immigration, 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 Ministers, unless the passenger is the President of Nigeria.”, the Aviation Minister said

According to Sirika, the President, the Vice President and passengers aboard planes on the Presidential air fleet use the Presidential wing of the airport and even in the Presidential Wing of the airport which the President of Nigeria uses, there is the presence of Immigration 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 former Vice President of Nigeria. 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.”

Condemning Atiku’s behaviour, the Minister said 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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