The protesters coming under the auspices of Northern Consensus Movement (NCM) on Thursday took over the Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport, Kano, calling for an explanation from the Federal Government on the arrested Chad-bound Russian aircraft.
Members of the movement noted while protesting that it was important for relevant authorities to explain Nigeria’s relationship with the Chad-bound aircraft allegedly laden with military hardware.
According to the NCM President, Ibrahim Wala, it is impossible to overlook the sudden appearance of a cargo laden with weapons, including helicopters with terrorist attacks rocking Nigeria’s North East.
“This is not the first time we are witnessing an interception of arm-laden aircraft, particularly in Kano Airport. It is unfortunate that all these while, there hasn’t been any explanation with regards to the destination of these cargos,” Mr. Wala said.
Mr. Wala said the group could not afford to sit back and watch the release of the aircraft without adequate explanation of its content and whereabouts.
“Now we are here again and incidentally we are talking about the content of this cargo which has some helicopters, you may recall there were certain reports pointing fingers to the Chadian government concerning the relationship of Chadian president with some of the politicians that have been fingered also,” he said.
The protesters carried placards that read: “We are in a state of war, we need aid not arms. We need detail of the Chad-bound cargo; Why is Ali Modu Sherrif in Kano? Where are the Northern leaders?”
The occupants of the plane – a pilot and a co-pilot and 16 others – are being held by the Nigerian Military.
One of the protesters, Muhktar Lawal, told Premium Times that the group was protesting to get answers from relevant authorities about Nigeria’s connection with the arm-laden aircraft.
“We want to occupy the airport because there are so many irregularities going on; this is the third time a plane carrying arms is being grounded in Kano and always they will say the arms are not meant for Nigeria and nobody will hear anything again,” Mr. Lawal said.
He said with the incessant insurgency in the North East, citizens can no longer keep mum on the smuggling of arms into Nigeria.
“If the weapons are meant for Niger or Chad, why are the authorities of these countries not confirming such?” the protester queried.