A Ukrainian cargo plane suspected to be carrying military hardware has been detained in Kano, security and aviation sources saidyesterday.
The sources, who declined to be mentioned, said the cargo plane landed at the Malam Aminu Kano International Airport onSaturday night and was immediately grounded by the military authorities who could not confirm the actual destination or owners of the cargo.
An aviation official disclosed that the plane was currently parked on the airport tarmac, where investigation will be thoroughly carried out by Nigerian security operatives.
The aviation source said a search was conducted on the cargo plane onSaturday night and the tarmac where it was being parked had been cordoned off by security operatives.
The Nigerian aviation authorities are yet to officially address the media.
It would be recalled that a cargo plane fully loaded with arms and ammunition was intercepted by security operatives at the Malam Aminu Kano International Airport, Kano,on June 18, 2009. The plane and its four crew members were detained at the Nigeria Air Force wing of the airport.
Sources said there were eight heavy crates of various weapons and ammunition on board the plane thought to include rifles, machine guns,rocket launchers, mortars and howitzers.
It was also gathered that the plane, which arrived in Nigeria from the former Soviet republic of the Ukraine, was allegedly heading for the West African country of Guinea-Bissau, and it stopped over in Kano at about 4am to refuel.
Nigeria’s security situation has improved– Abdulsalami
Meanwhile, former head of state Gen Abdulsalami Abubakar (rtd) has disclosed that the security situation in the country has improved in the past one year.
Abdulsalami stated this yesterday in Jos during a chat with newsmen shortly after paying a condolence visit to the former deputy governor of Plateau State, Dame Pauline Tallen , who lost her father Pa Paul Kattien, at her residence in Rayfield, Jos.
He called on citizens of the country to learn to live and stay peacefully with one another, stressing that no country thrives in an atmosphere of rancor.
Abdulsalami also appealed to security operatives to live up to their expectations and urged citizens of the country to be security-conscious and report perpetrators of violence to the appropriate authorities.
On the political situation in the country Abdulsalami said politics in the country has come a long way and would improve if the stakeholders playedthe game with sincerity.