Governor Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri of Adamawa State has been called out by the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) for flouting safety and health protocols as Nigeria battles the novel coronavirus pandemic.
According to FAAN, Finiri refused to have his temperature checked at the Port Harcourt airport and rejected the hand sanitizer handed to him.
His entourage followed in his footsteps.
“The management of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) hereby strongly condemns the conduct of the Governor of Adamawa state Alh Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri, who arrived Port Harcourt international Airport aboard aircraft 5N-IZY, at 17:08 hrs on 14th July 2020 with 8 others;
“And who flagrantly refused to observe the airport security and public health protocols as directed by the federal government through the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on #COVID19 by refusing to have his temperature checked, or being sanitised by the health officials,” FAAN said in a couple of tweets.
The airports authority also described Fintiri’s display as irresponsible.
“His whole entourage of 8 did exactly as he did. The team that came to receive them drove right through the barricades up to the terminal building, ignoring traffic and aviation security instructions.
“This irresponsible act endangers all other airport users, it is unacceptable, and as such it has also been duly escalated.
"FAAN hereby cautions all airport users, especially our esteemed VIPs, to please respect the presidential directive by observing airport security and public health travel protocols put in place to protect all air travellers against acts of unlawful interference, infection and the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic,” FAAN added.
A representative of the governor did not immediately respond to Pulse' request for comments.
Nigeria reopened its airspace for domestic travels on July 8; after placing a ban on domestic and international air travels for three months in a bid to curb the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.
VIPs and elected officials were asked to adhere strictly to health protocols like face coverings, physical distancing and disinfection at all of the nation’s airports upon resumption of commercial flight operations.
Nigeria has confirmed 34,259 COVID-19 cases, 13,999 recoveries and 760 fatalities as of July 15, 2020, according to the Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC).
Finiri’s Adamawa has so far reported 110 COVID-19 cases.
A slew of Nigeria's governors and VIPs have tested positive for COVID-19.
Among those who have recovered from the virus are Kaduna Governor Nasir El-Rufai, Bauchi Governor Bala Mohammed, Ondo Governor Rotimi Akeredolu, Abia Governor Okezie Ikpeazu, Delta Governor Ifeanyi Okowa and Seyi Makinde of Oyo State.
President Buhari's Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari, is the most high profile casualty of the virus in Africa's most populous nation.