The Anambra state government has described the news that herders invaded the newly-built airport in Umueri, as a fiction taken too far.
In a statement, Anambra State Commissioner for Information & Public Enlightenment, C Don Adinuba, said there was no record of herders entering the airport.
Adinuba said the cattle being bred in Umueri belong to Anambra farmers and investors.
He said “We refute with all the emphasis at our disposal the report that a group of Fulani herdsmen and their herd of cattle invaded the newly-built and commissioned Anambra State International Cargo and Passenger Airport, Umueri.”
“Nothing could be further from the truth, even by the standard of sensational journalism, the report took fiction too far.”
He said those who filed the report did not bother to cross-check with the Anambra government that built the airport, the airport security or even the police.
“Some envious elements within the political firmament have gone to great lengths to run down the landmark achievement of building the state-of-the-art airport by Governor Willie Obiano of Anambra State in record time, but it goes beyond the pale trying to manufacture fictions about a fanciful Fulani cattle invasion. The cattle being bred in the Umueri area for many years belong to Anambra farmers and investors, not to any imagined Fulani invaders.”
“The perimeter fencing of the airport is up-to-date and cannot be breached easily, not by man or even far less by cattle. The security is sophisticatedly electronic and manual. The reckless journalism of inventing fictions and appealing to the base indulgencies of opposition partisan political elements deserves condemnation by all Nigerians.
“Two of Nigeria’s most reputable airline companies, Allen Onyema’s Air Peace and Obiora Okonkwo’s United Nigeria Airlines, are already running regular flights to and fro Anambra International Cargo and Passenger Airport, and the passengers have never ever complained about security at the airport.
“The public should be conscious of attempts to spin fibs to run down well-constituted projects designed to enhance Nigeria’s development. Anambra International Cargo and Passenger Airport remains an eloquent testament that uplifting things is possible in the Nigerian public space, and no amount of reckless journalism can drag down a plane already up in flight.”