Following a recent allegation that security personnel of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) denied Dame Patience Jonathan, wife of the former President access to the VIP Lounge at the Port Harcourt International Airport on July 27, 2015, the authority has denied the allegation, saying it did not at any point deny the former first lady access to the airport’s VIP lounge.
Mr. Yakubu Dati, General Manager, Corporate Affairs, in a statement said, “The attention of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria has been drawn to a misleading and mischievous news story in the social media, alleging that the wife of the former President, Dame Patience Jonathan was denied access to the VIP lounge at the Port Harcourt International Airport (on July 26, 2015).
“We wish to state that no such thing happened as Dame Jonathan, like other family members of former Presidents and other designated principal officers of Government are officially entitled to the use of airport VIP and Protocol lounges under the management of FAAN.
“The Authority holds the former first lady in high esteem, being the wife of our former President and therefore, could not have done anything that would suggest disrespect for her person”.
The authority claimed that the former first lady’s convoy was only denied access to the foot of the aircraft during boarding formalities at the airport in line with international aviation best practices, strictly for safety and reasons as prescribed by ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organisation).
Dati said FAAN’s security officials explained this fact in detail to the former first lady.
“We wish to recall that former president Goodluck Jonathan GCFR in his recent trips from the same airport, has had to walk to the aircraft from the protocol lounge, in recognition of this ICAO regulation”, the statement said.
By Patrick Aigbokhan