NCAA Denies Grounding ‘Obi-dient’ Aircraft

The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has said no ‘Obi-dient’ plane heading to Ibadan, Oyo State, for a rally was grounded at the Murtala Muhammed Airport in Lagos.

According witness reports and a statement by Diran Onifade, Head of Media for the Obi-Datti Presidential Campaign Organization on Wednesday, a jet of Peter Obi, presidential candidate of the Labour Party, was stopped at the Lagos airport by the “powers that be,”

Reacting to the situation, the NCAA said that the pilot of the customized plane only returned after noticing some aircraft faults.

“The so-called grounded plane belongs to a scheduled operator i.e. normal commercial flight. The flight crew of the said aircraft returned to the base on their own to check on an issue that developed soon after it took off.

“This is the normal and right thing to do. What they did is what we termed safety precautionary flight measures. NCAA was not involved in this decision.”

Read also: Peter Obi Arrives Ibadan For Campaign, Despite FG Grounding His OBIdient Aircraft

“I understand NCAA did not ground any aircraft today (yesterday). The aircraft being said to be grounded is mere sensationalism.

“The reason is that the flight crew made an air return soon after takeoff and had issues they needed to come back and correct.

“Let’s be careful not to drag NCAA into politics in its operations. Our mandate is to ensure the safety of all aircraft operating in Nigeria airspace, regardless of whom they carry.

“Presidential candidates of all parties in the country have been flying around and NCAA’s mandate is to ensure that every aircraft flying meets safety standard.

“We have been grounding planes not fit for flying before now.