As early as 6:00 a.m on Thursday, a diversion has been effected by armed secure operatives and traffic officials. Passengers were seen trekking to the airport with luggage on their head. to the airport.
Many flights out of the Murtala Muhammed Airport Ikeja Lagos were delayed following the blockage of the road leading to the domestic terminal ahead of the two – day official visit of President Muhammadu Buhari to Lagos.
Journalists report that one of the areas affected by traffic diversion is the Mobolaji Bank Anthony Way connecting the local airport from Maryland.
It was therefore impossible for many passengers with flights to catch to get to their airports on time as vehicular movement was restricted.
This prompted airlines to adjust their flights as many passengers were trapped on roads where traffic was diverted to.
Air Peace spokesman, Chris Iwarah said, “Reports reaching us say most of our guests are trapped in the huge traffic jam caused by the multiple diversions in Lagos. Since Lagos is our base, we had no choice than to consider their challenge.
— Daily Trust (@daily_trust) March 29, 2018
“Although our crew members are on ground, we are delaying most of the flights to accommodate some of those who are caught in traffic. The situation is, however, causing huge disruptions in our operations.”
Daily Trust had earlier reported on Wednesday about speculation that the airspace would be closed because of the President’s visit. The airlines, as well as the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), debunked the speculation, saying their flights would operate as scheduled.
But it was an impossible task for them to operate the normal schedules following the terrific traffic gridlock triggered by the traffic diversion.
The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) had earlier informed passengers, airport users and the general public that the President will visit Lagos State for two days.
“Subsequently, commercial vehicles will only operate from 7am-7pm around the Murtala Muhammed Airport tomorrow, Thursday 29, 2018. This is to allow smooth movement around the airport during the visit”, the authority said in a statement by its spokesperson, Mrs Henrietta Yakubu.