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Self-Homage or Legacy? President Buhari Renames Maiduguri Airport After Himself in Final Act

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ABUJA, Nigeria — President Muhammadu Buhari, in one of his last acts as Nigeria’s leader, has approved the renaming of 15 airports after notable Nigerians, along with constituting Boards of Directors for the country’s aviation agencies.

The announcement was made on Monday, May 29, 2023, before the end of his administration, with the changes encompassing six key aviation agencies including the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN, the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency, NAMA, the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology, NCAT, the Nigerian Meteorological Agency, NiMet, and the Nigerian Safety Investigation Bureau, NSIB.

A statement released by the Ministry of Aviation’s Head of Press and Public Affairs, Odutayo Oluseyi, detailed the new constitution of these agency boards. The NCAA will now be chaired by Mr. Lai Are, with institutional members representing the Ministries of Aviation and Defence, while Capt. Fola Akinkuotu, former Managing Director of NAMA, will chair the FAAN.

NSIB will be under the leadership of Engr. Ezekiel Danboyi Zang, and Dr. Imoro Kubor will helm the NiMet Board. NCAT will be led by Capt. Jonathan Ibrahim.

Alongside these appointments, President Buhari approved the renaming of 15 airports. “This gesture aims to honor the contributions and legacies of various distinguished Nigerians,” Oluseyi said in the statement.

Notable changes include Akure International Airport renamed after Olumuyiwa Bernard Aliu, Benin International Airport now Oba Akinzua ii, and Maiduguri International Airport renamed after President Muhammadu Buhari himself.

The airports in Makurdi, Minna, Nasarrawa, Osubi, Port Harcourt, and Yola also received new namesakes.

As President Buhari concludes his tenure, these last-minute changes mark a significant shift in the nation’s aviation landscape.

The newly reconstituted Boards of Directors and renamed airports will be a lasting legacy of his administration, commemorating the contributions of notable Nigerians and reaffirming the importance of the country’s aviation sector.

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