A chartered aircraft conveying former Head of State and All Progressive Congress, APC, presidential aspirant, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (rtd) and his entourage, was yesterday allegedly denied landing rights by the authorities of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), in Makurdi, Benue state.
It was gathered from a reliable source that Gen. Buhari, alongside his entourage, was travelling from Bayelsa state to Makurdi to woo delegates of his party ahead of the APC delegates congress scheduled for December, but had their flight denied permission to touch down in Makurdi.
According to him, “The flight was earlier granted landing permission but we were all surprised when half an hour to his arrival a counter directive was issued mid-flight, thereby forcing the aircraft to head to Abuja.
“What they did was evil and dangerous, what if the plane was low on fuel, what do you think would have happened? Desperation has set into our politics, and it is posing grave danger to our democracy.”
When contacted on phone, the Benue State Chairman of the APC, Comrade Abba Yaro confirmed the development describing it as unfortunate.
Disclosing this to newsmen in a telephone conversation, the state APC chairman, Comrade Abba Yaro said Gen Buhari who was scheduled to travel from Bayelsa State to Makurdi to campaign for delegates ahead of APC’s delegate congress in December, turned back to Abuja when he learnt that he would not be granted landing permit.
Comrade Yaro frowned at the ugly development, wondering why a former Head of State who was initially granted landing permit earlier in the day, only for a counter directive to emerge voiding the earlier one that granted him permit.
“APC loyalists who had trooped out in their thousands and laid siege at the airport yesterday morning for long time were disappointed and had to disperse when they learnt of the development”, Yaro regretted.
It was gathered that the refusal to grant Buhari landing permit may not be unconnected to his alleged plan to meet with some aggrieved PDP members, particularly Chief Samuel Ortom, an influential member of the PDP and former Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment who is planning to decamp to APC.
All attempts to speak with officials of FAAN in Makurdi on the matter failed as they all declined to comment on the issue.