A chartered aircraft conveying former Head of State and All Progressive Congress, APC, presidential aspirant, Gen. Mohammadu Buhari (rtd) and his entourage, was Wednesday allegedly denied landing rights by the authorities of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN, in Makurdi, Benue State. gathered from a reliable source that Gen. Buhari, alongside his entourage, was travelling from Bayelsa State to Makurdi to woo delegates of his party ahead of the APC delegates congress scheduled for December but had their flight denied permission to touch down in Makurdi.
According to him, “the flight was earlier granted landing permission but we were all surprised when half an hour to his arrival a counter directive was issued mid-flight thereby forcing the aircraft to head to Abuja.
“What they did was evil and dangerous, what if the plane was low on fuel, what do you think would have happened? Desperation has set into our politics, and it is posing grave danger to our democracy.”
When contacted on phone, the Benue State Chairman of the APC, Comrade Abba Yaro confirmed the development describing it as unfortunate.
He explained that loyalists of the party who had laid siege at the airport Wednesday morning were disappointed and had to disperse when they learnt of the unfortunate development.
“We will certainly react to this ugly incident because what they have done was not only callous and wicked but also unacceptable in modern day Nigeria.”
All attempts to speak with officials of FAAN in Makurdi on the matter failed as they all declined to comment on the issue.
The operators include seven chartered jet and five chartered helicopter firms.
The chartered jet operators are Kings Airlines, Top Brazz Aviation, Wings Aviation, Associated Airlines, Overland Airways, Arik Air and Vistajet; while the chartered helicopter operators are Caverton Helicopters, OAS Helicopters, Aero Contractors, Bristow Helicopters and Pan African Airlines.
According to findings by our correspondent, the cost of chartering a private jet ranges between $6,000 and $8,000 per hour, while chartering a helicopter costs between $8,000 and $10,000 per hour.
Industry analysts are of the opinion that each chartered aircraft operator makes an average of four flights per week, with each lasting three hours on the average.