Panic at Lagos airport over US terror alert

Airport in NigeriaFrom Suleiman Idris, Lagos

The US terror alert across airports in the world caught up with Nigeria yesterday as gridlock pervaded the Murtala Muhammed Airport for more than five hours as a combine team of security personnel searched incoming vehicles at the main entrance gate of the hajj camp cargo village of the international wing of the airport.

Visitors without genuine reasons were not allowed to enter the expansive premises that houses virtually all the branches of banks, Nahco Aviance, Sahcol, DHL, among others while business was activities inside the cargo village was slowed down.

Security sources told our correspondent that the heighten security alert followed intelligence report of a possible attack following, a police source revealed that 10 person were arrested on Sunday for unlawful entrance into the airport vicinity.

A staff of one of cargo handling companies told our correspondence cargos are also not left out as they have been mandated to screen all incoming and outbound cargo.

Traffic gridlock stretched from the Nahco main gate at the cargo village to the Arik Air junction at the entrance to the airport from Ikeja. Motorists lament the situation as travellers had to abandon their vehicles and walked to the airport and their offices when it becomes obvious they were late for appointment.

Some countries in Africa and the Middle East and Europe has announced changes in their flight  after Washington Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson ordered beefed up security at foreign airports from where aircraft fly directly to the US.

In a statement, Mr. Johnson said he had directed the US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to “implement enhanced security measures in the coming days at certain overseas airports with direct flights to the United States”.

Also, at the departure hall of the international wing, passengers were asked to ensure their mobile devices were switched-on, as part of security measures that include closer scrutiny of personal electronics and footwear.

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