The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) has refuted claims that Dame Patience Jonathan, the wife of former President Goodluck Jonathan, was denied access to the VIP lounge at the Port Harcourt International Airport.
This was made known on Tuesday in a statement by The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) issued by Yakubu Dati, its General Manager, Corporate Affairs.
The statement stated that the reports were false contrary to claims on social Media.
See Statement below;
“We wish to state that no such thing happened as Dame Patience Jonathan, like other family members of former Presidents and other designated principal officers of Government, are officially entitled to the use of airports’ VIP and protocol lounges under the management of FAAN.
The Authority holds the former First Lady in high esteem, being the wife of our former President and, therefore, could not have done anything that would suggest disrespect for her person.”
According to the statement, the former first lady’s convoy was only denied access to the foot of the aircraft during boarding formalities at the airport in line with international aviation best practices.
It said this was strictly for safety reasons as prescribed by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).
The statement said: “Our security officials explained this fact in detail to the former first lady.
“We wish to recall that former President Goodluck Jonathan in his recent trips from the same airport, had to walk to the aircraft from the protocol lounge, in recognition of this ICAO regulation.”