By Taiwo Olumo
The planned and much celebrated opening of Anambra International Cargo and Passenger Airport, Umueri, Anambra state for commercial operations is under serious threat and doubtful as Nigeria’s National Security Adviser has directed Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), and Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) to suspend the planned opening of the airport for commercial operations citing security reasons. Anambra state government has been advertising heavily the airport’s opening which is scheduled for Saturday, October 30, 2021.
Sources say that the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in the centre, including the party’s candidate for the November 6, 2021 Anambra gubernatorial election, Senator Andy Ubah lobbied and prevailed on the Presidency to scuttle the opening of the airport saying that opening of the airport will give the ruling party in Anambra state, the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) and their gubernatorial candidate, Prof. Charles Chukwuma Soludo extra advantage in the elections.
It is not known how this matter will be resolved, if President Muhammadu Buhari will intervene in favour of opening the airport as planned, but some Ndi Anambra that spoke to this reporter expressed dismay that the APC and Senator Ubah will chose to play politics with the economic development of Anambra state. They cite the agony and heavy traffic that people coming into the state endure on the federal highways leading into Anambra state from towns with nearby airports including Enugu, Port Harcourt, Owerri and Asaba.