MURTALA Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos today lit up with activities as men of the Nigeria Air Force this morning completed an anti-terrorism simulation where they imitated a live hostage and terrorism situation and countered it strategically.The forty-five minute exercise brought thrills and frills and saw passengers at the MMIA light up in excitement and workers scampering to catch of glimpse of the security agency working together effectively.
Several blank shots were fired to mimic a live terrorist situation and men of the Nigerian Air-force swooped into the terminal building from a chopper as well as another entrance to deal with the mock terrorist situation and this enable the organisers ascertain the reaction time as well as the counter terrorism strategy employed by the Nigeria Air Force who were backed by other supporting agencies.
Chief of Air Staff (COAS), Air vice Marshal Abubakar Sadiq who fielded questions after the simulation said it was important to carry out the simulation to ascertain the readiness of the men of the armed forces and expressed satisfaction at the exercise while stating that there were aspects to be perfected upon.
He said,”We have looked at it and we can improve on it. Our objective here is to do a quick response and what is important is that if there is any threat we should be able to rally and neutralize it before it aggravates.”
“The whole idea is to assess our men and from my observation it was successful. We are ready. There are some factors that may come into play during the operation and that is why we had the ambulances, police and other support personnel here.”
Managing Director of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Engineer Saleh Dunoma who also witnessed the simulation said it was a way to see how the security agencies worked together in a crisis situation.
“It was quite successful as all the agencies and support personnel worked together in unison like a well oiled machine.”
The personnel also took the simulation to the airside of the MMIA to carry out another mock terrorism exercise. A similar exercise has already been carried out in Abuja and according to the COAS, the exercise will go round to other major airports.
Involved in the exercise are men of the Nigerian Air Force, the police, the bomb disposal unit of the police, FAAN AVSEC.