May 31, 2023

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Arms-bearing Aviation Security Charged to Maintain Civility

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Nigeria’s new look, arms-bearing Aviation Security, AVSEC, with Sen. Hadi Sirika, Aviation Minister, seated 5th left, accompanied by other dignitaries at the passing out of the first batch of trained arms-bearing AVSEC.

The pioneers of arms-bearing aviation security personnel that have just passed out from intensive and integrated training and drilling by the Directorate of State Security Service, DSSS, have been charged never to derail from the guiding principles of civility which is the hallmark of civil aviation in all the nations worldwide.

Minister of Aviation, Sen. Hadi Sirika, who gave the charge at the passing-out ceremony of the first batch of arms-bearing AVSEC personnel in Abuja, Friday, said on no occasion should the civility of aviation security be jettisoned but must be upheld at all costs and at all times.

Sirika said he had no iota of doubt on the quality of training the DSSS had impacted to the inductees hence, charged the avsec personnel to be of high moral standard, with impeccable integrity, and ultra-high discipline in the discharge of the onerous task on their shoulders as aviation security.

Hadi Sirika, who was the Special Guest at the passing-out event thus enunciated, “This should come to you as a clarion call to work within the precepts of the training. This training that you have received is expected to commit you to the level of dedication that is expected in ensuring that the nation of Nigeria will not only be proud but also reap the benefits of this well-organized training,” he said.

The minister recalled the ugly incident of the Turkish Airline in 2016 when some aggrieved passengers overpowered AVSEC officials at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, NAIA, Abuja, and gained access to the tarmac.

The transition from the above type of grooming which began in 2017, is gradually being completed for the one-bearing arms

Sirika also cited an incident at the Sokoto Airport where supporters of some politicians forcefully entered the tarmac, and affirmed that those actions were clear security breaches that would have been averted by the AVSEC personnel if they were armed.

He assured the personnel that their uniforms, armory, and other paraphernalia to facilitate ease of service delivery, such as securing and safeguarding airline officials, passengers, and other airport users have been adequately stocked.

Sirika however gave a sterner warning that the aims and objectives of training and especially the purpose of the arms were not to harass or intimidate innocent airport users but to protect the various airport’s customers.

Recall that six years and three months ago, at the first Federal Executive Council, FEC meeting in 2017, held on Wednesday 4th of January 2017, the then Minister of State for Aviation, Sen. Hadi Sirika, announced to the press corps at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, that President Mohammadu Buhari, at the just concluded FEC meeting which he presided, had approved that aviation security should bear arms.

Sirika said that his ministry would partner with the Ministry of Interior and other stakeholders in the training of the affected Aviation Security personnel in arms handling.

The brand-new look of Nigeria’s Aviation Security, AVSEC. In the middle is Sen. Hadi Sirika, Minister of Aviation

He enthused, “We are very serious about aviation security, just last week the President approved that aviation security should bear arms, so we are trying to make them take the form and shape of Transportation Safety Administration, TSA of the US with K-9 dogs, handcuffs, the guards, the batons, and light weapons, among others.

He explained further that, “The Minister of Interior is helping us in that regard from the directive of Mr. President, to partner with them and other stakeholders to ensure we keep our airports secured”.

The Minister of State for Transport, concluded, “So, very soon you will see them in uniform, doing different functions and securing our airports”.

The reality dawned last Friday, 28th of April 2023, when the first batch of arms-bearing aviation security graduated from intensive training by the Department of State Security Service, DSSS.

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