NATIONAL SECURITY AND THE EXPRESSWAY CHOPPER FROM THE BLUES
It is true after all that a wealthy Nigerian called for a chopper to extricate himself from a traffic snarl on Benin-Ore expressway a few days ago. The airlift met both aviation authorities and the defence establishment completely unprepared and investigations have been launched.
Well, this is now something – a three-headed something. Three breaches have been flagrantly committed here:
1.Civil protection breach. Who cleared to road, a major expressway for this aircraft to land? Evidently there was danger to road users during this deviant landing and take off. What was the response of the police – the wing of the police covering that area? Who cleared to road for the aIrcraft to land and finally, what is the operational procedure guiding the response of the police as the first and last layer of national security in matters of this nature?
- Civil aviation breach. How did an aircraft take off from its station without filing its flight path with the National Civil Aviation Authorities? Was it picked up on the radar and identified immediately as an unauthorized flight? Was it accordingly tracked? Were defence agencies accordingly notified? What is the operational procedure in Nigeria in situations like this if one exists and was it followed? This question becomes important because it seems the NCCA only responded to this incident because it became a social media affair.
- National security breach. There is a wing of national strategic command covering that part of the country. Did it find out about this breach and how? Through social media or through a radar or agents in the field? What was the response of that particular security detachment when it found out? What are the operational procedures for responding to incidents like this by the defence apparatus and were they followed? How long did it take before military authorities charged with that level of defence find out about this breach?
These are questions that should occupy the defence committees of the national assembly and the state assembly on whose soil this incident occurred and there ought to be serious hearings if we are interested in things as crucial as protection of lives. What if it was an enemy aircraft coming in to conduct a raid? Or what if such interests take a cue from this and plan such? It will even be good to make public security arrangements we have for this type of things if this incident is not to inspire a new level of crime in the society.