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FAAN in a rebuttal stated that all it did was to follow standard practice and stop her convoy from taking her to the foot of the aircraft on the tarmac.
The former First Lady was reportedly stopped from using the VIP lounge of the airport when she went to Port Harcourt on a private visit. Sources at the airport alleged that the former First Lady was denied access to the lounge by security operatives of FAAN, who reportedly said they were working based on orders from “above”
Reacting to the report, FAAN, in its statement, Tuesday, described it as misleading and mischievous, and stressed that the wife of former President Goodluck Jonathan was not denied access to “the VIP lounge at the Port Harcourt International Airport on July 27, 2015.”
However, the authority was quick to state that what its security officials did was to stop the former First Lady’s convoy from gaining access to the tarmac where her aircraft was parked.
The General Manager, Corporate Affairs, Yakubu Dati, said the security officials explained to Dame Jonathan’s team why her convoy was stopped, adding that the officials were only abiding by international safety standards.
FAAN said, “The former First Lady’s convoy was only denied access to the foot of the aircraft during boarding formalities at the airport in line with international aviation best practices, strictly for safety reasons as prescribed by the International Civil Aviation Organisation. Our security officials explained this fact to details of the former First Lady.
“We wish to recall that former President Goodluck Jonathan, in his recent trips from the same airport, had to walk to the aircraft from the protocol lounge, in recognition of this ICAO regulation.”
It said, “We wish to state that no such thing happened as Dame Jonathan, like other family members of former Presidents and other designated principal officers of government, are officially entitled to the usage of airport VIP and protocol lounges under the management of FAAN.
“The authority holds the former First Lady in high esteem, being the wife of our former President and therefore, could not have done anything that would suggest disrespect for her person.”