The Presidency on Thursday said President Muhammadu Buhari’s visit to Bauchi, scheduled for Dec. 29, 2016, had been postponed due to prevailing weather conditions in the country.
This information is contained in a statement issued in Abuja by Malam Garba Shehu, the Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to the President.
According to Shehu, the bad weather conditions experienced at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, on Thursday morning prevented the take-off of the President’s plane for the trip to Bauchi.
“Uncooperative weather, which has been the bane of air travel in the current harmattan season leading to delay and cancellation of flights, reared its head in Abuja Airport this morning, preventing the take-off of the President’s plane for the trip to Bauchi.
“Technical information received from the weather station showed that visibility as at this morning was 600 meters, 200 metres short of the 800 metres minimally required for a safe aircraft take-off.
“According to the information available, the visibility was expected to drop to 300 metres before improving to permissible limit later in the day.
“The commander of the Presidential Air Fleet, Air Commodore Hassan Abubakar, said that the Presidential Aircraft was in perfect condition, the weather in Bauchi was alright, but that the problem was in Abuja,’’ Shehu stated.
President Buhari was quoted as expressing regret over the disruption caused by the bad weather.
In a recorded audio and video message, President Buhari said he looked forward to the visit in the course of which he was to commission an Air Force medical facility and a number of other projects by the state government.
He said he also intended to thank the people for their relentless support in all his political undertakings.
“We make our plans, God makes His own plans,” the President said.
President Buhari thanked the Government and people of Bauchi State and the Nigerian Air Force for the studious and elaborate preparations made to receive him.
According to him, he is going to visit the state at a more auspicious time.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the President’s visit to Bauchi was initially postponed on Dec. 13 due to his trip to Gambia aimed to settle the political stalemate arising from President Yahya Jammeh’s refusal to accept the result of the country’s presidential election.
Meanwhile, the Minister of State for Aviation, Sen. Hadi Sirika, has said that the Federal Government is planning to upgrade the Instrument Landing Systems (ILS) at the country’s major airports for efficiency.
Sirika said this while reacting to the cancellation of the Presidential flight to Bauchi on Thursday.
He said the upgrade would help to address cases of flight disruptions experienced during every harmattan season.