There was confusion at the airport in Alakia, Ibadan on Saturday afternoon as three officers of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps were attacked by an Air Force personnel and his friend. Trouble started when the two men who were in a gold-coloured Toyota Camry were accompanied by two ladies. They were stopped at the gate of the airport on their way out for driving through a wrong way which was meant only for vehicles entering the airport.
One of the officers who manned the gate notified the driver of the car that he had violated a rule and told him of the consequence which was a N 5,000 fine. Street Journal however gathered that a waiver was offered; in place of the penalty fee, the officer closed the barrier and told the young man who drove the car to simply go bak and pass through the right way.
The man who was visibly not sober claimed ignorance of the traffic regulation of the airport and refused to move his care from the gate, obstructing free flow of traffic. For about ten minutes, no vehicle could enter or leave the airport as the driver remained adamant. Frustrated motorists who had been held up got out and chided the man for his barefaced act of lawlessness but all seemed to fall on deaf ears. When asked why he would not move his car, his reply was “they should talk to me in a respectable manner”. By that time, long queues of vehicles were noticeable at both ends of the airport gate.
A shouting match ensued with the two men in the Camry taking on all those who came out of their vehicles to make him leave the gate. Tempers rose as the occupants of the Camry kept warning other motorists with the phrase “don’t talk to us anyhow”. The driver even went as far as referring to one of those who asked if he could try such in Europe as a “mad man.”
When two Civil Defence officers were seen walking towards the gate, those who had been held up by the unnatural traffic jam heaved a sigh of relief, hoping that the uniformed men of the Civil Defence corps would be able to resolve the matter.
The driver of the vehicle was approached by the officers and when he was asked why he blocked the gate; his response was “don’t talk to me anyhow”. Efforts by the Civil Defence men to make him reason failed and in the course of a shouting match with the “men in blue”, the friend of the driver dealt one of the officers a slap which was followed by a series of punches and a head butt that left the officer bleeding. Seeing that the officer’s uniform was being desecrated, his colleague joined in a bid to subdue the attacker and the driver of the Camry too joined to support his pal in order to prevent a “two against one situation”. A third officer who was passing by eventually lent a hand and the two friends were overpowered. By that time, one of the ladies in the car who had been in the Camry all along decided to reverse the vehicle. That however did not stop the tyres of the car from being deflated.
The driver eventually identified himself as a Flying Officer of the Nigerian Air Force as they sought an amicable solution. The wounded Civil Defence officer put a call through to the headquarters and it was resolved that he should be taken to the headquarters of the NSCDC.
After normalcy had returned, one of the men who tried to make peace between the wounded officer and his attackers asked “oga Air Force, if somebody comes to do this in your barracks, how would you feel?” no one showed surprise that the man could not provide an answer.