The Nigerian Federal Ministry of Aviation on Tuesday dismissed as hoax, stories that made the rounds early in the day, of a bomb scare on an Arik Airline flight travelling from Maiduguri, capital of Borno State in north Eastern Nigeria, to Abuja, the Nigerian capital city .
In a statement e-mailed to aviation journalists, Mr. Joe Obi, the Special Adviser on media to the Minister of Aviation, Princes Stella Oduah, said that the story was absolutely false
“In fact, it is a hoax as there is no iota of truth in this wicked rumour,” the statement said.
He said that a passenger, Aminu Galadima, boarded the aircraft after going through all mandatory security screening, noting that nothing incriminating — no explosives or weapons whatsoever — was found on him.
“However, mid air, the passenger began to act strangely, screaming ‘God is Great’.”
He said that fellow passengers, alarmed by this behaviour, rushed to apprehend the passenger and a thorough search by fellow passengers and crew members revealed nothing dangerous on him.
“The pilot immediately radioed the Air Traffic Control and airport security operatives, intimating them of the development,” Obi said in the statement .
He added that the plane landed safely at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, and the suspect was handed over to Security operatives where he is currently being interrogated.
The Special Adviser reassured the flying public of the continued focus of the Federal Ministry of Aviation on the safety and security of the nation’s airspace.
He, however, cautioned Nigerians on the need to be careful and guide against spreading dangerous rumours.
“These rumours do not help to make our airspace either safer or more secure,” he said.