Lagos, Nigeria (PANA) - Nigerian aviation experts Tuesday called for tighter security at the nation's airports to forestall possible attacks by the Islamic sect Boko Haram, which has killed 935 people in attacks across northern Nigeria in the past two and a half years.
Addressing a press conference in the economic capital city of Lagos, the experts, under the aegis of the Aviation Round Table (ART), called for the establishment of an entity to coordinate security at the airports.
In a prepared text read on behalf of the group, Mr. Sam Akerele said the absence of a strong coordinating agency had led to rivalry among security agencies at the airports, hence there is always buck passing when breaches occur.
Mr. Akerele said while the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) is the designated authority to coordinate airport security, it cannot exert authority over the operations of any of the government security agencies.
''Based on this, an independent aviation security establishment similar to the Transportation and Security Administration (TSA) in the United States should be established in Nigeria,
''Perimetre fencing should be enforced and broken fences at the airports should be fixed, the nonchalant attitude of security personnel at the airport should be tackled especially at a time when there is terrorist threat across the country,'' ART said.
Another member of the ART, Capt John Ojikutu, expressed fears that the sect might have infiltrated the aviation sector, in view of the lax security at the airports.
Since launching its violent campaign in 2009, Boko Haram has attacked police stations, military barracks, churches as well as the UN headquarters in the capital city of Abuja.
The group, which uses suicide bombers among other attack modes, claimed responsibility for Friday's attacks that left 185 dead in the northern city of Kano, and vowed to carry out more attacks.
-0- PANA AD/SEG 2012