By Ralph Christopher and Myke Uzendu
Criminals suspected to be bandits (terrorists) and armed with dangerous weapons have reportedly attacked the staff quarters of the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) at the Kaduna International Airport.
It is not yet clear how they gained access into the quarters, but residents of the neighbourhood within the presincts of the airport informed that some staff of FAAN who reside at the quarters but managed to escape, reported that some staff members and residents of the FAAN quarters along with their families have been abducted by the bandits.
One of the eyewitnesses, whose name was given as Abubakar Sani, put the number of those abducted at 11, among them a staff member of the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), with his entire family, and a wife and kid of a staff of the Nigeria Meteorological Agency (NiMET).
According to an insider who craved anonymity: “Two houses were attacked inside the quarters, and the criminals later moved to the airside of the airport around 2am today (Saturday).
“The situation is as bad as that. Many of us the villagers have left the village and have evacuated our families this morning.
“Even the remaining airport staff are leaving for a safer place. The kind of gunshots we heard that night was very scary”.
When contacted, ASP Mohammed Jalige, the PPRO of Kaduna State Police Command, said he was not aware of the attack, but would make findings.
“I am attending a programme now. I will make my inquiries and get back to you later in the afternoon,” he said.
An official of FAAN who insisted he would not want his name mentioned because he does not have the official permission to speak, confirmed the attack.
He said: “Yes, there was an attack by bandits at the airport quarters around 2am.
“There was an exchange of fire between the bandits and a combined team of the Army and Air Force operatives.
“They abducted 11 staff of some agencies, including their families. The bandits did not attack any part of the main airport – they only fled through a section during the exchange.
“Our national headquarters may give official statement anytime,” the official said.