Barring unforeseen circumstances, airlifting of people going for Hajj programme in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, will take place through the Ibadan Airport as from next year.
Adedeji Afolabi, general manager, Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) Alakia, Ibadan Airport, who led members of management of the Airport on courtesy visit to Oba Lekan Balogun, Alli Okunmade II, Olubadan of Ibadanland, at his Alarere residence, gave the cheering news.
The GM said, “We are happy at the turnaround we are witnessing in our place and by the grace of God, the dream of Ibadan people concerning the Airport would soon become a reality”.
He remarked that the state governor had committed huge funds towards giving the airport a standard befitting of an international facility. “But for some hitches, the last pilgrims to Saudi Arabia from the state would have been airlifted from Ibadan Airport. All things being equal, the next exercise would take place there.
“The efforts of Seyi Makinde in this regard cannot go without mention. Aside from the expansion of our needed facility in the airport, we can all see the road leading to the place dualized with street light, beautifying the whole place in addition to making it safe and secure for our prospective air passengers. We owe the governor a huge gratitude,” the general manager said.
Afolabi further said that the visit was to pay homage to the Olubadan for the first time since his ascension to the throne last year. “We are here to pay homage to our royal father as the owner of the land and to solicit for his blessings,” he said.
In a press statement made available to the media in Ibadan by the Olubadan through Oladele Ogunsola, his personal assistant media, Oba Balogun expressed happiness to receive the good news that the airport would become international and thanked Governor Makinde for the laudable steps taken to make the long dream a reality.
The Olubadan equally praised other Ibadan sons and daughters who served either in the executive or legislative arms of government both at the state and national levels, who had made efforts towards the realisation of the airport dream. “It is gratifying to note that all the efforts had not gone in vain.
“As just pointed out by the airport general manager, our people’s governor had committed huge funds towards making the airport what we had all longed. I cannot thank the governor enough for this visionary and focussed efforts. May the Almighty Allah continue to guide and guard him.
“To our visitor, I thank you also for the visit and the good news concerning our airport. It has been a long dream for the facility to assume international status and you cannot imagine how happy I am with this report. By saying I am happy, it means my people in Ibadanland are happy too. So, I implore you to ensure that whatever it is that will make your report a reality is done and the gods of our land will support you and make it part of your achievement”, Olubadan said further.
In attendance to receive the FAAN management team alongside Olubadan were the Osi-Olubadan, Oba Eddy Oyewole, Ekerin Olubadan, Oba Hamidu Ajibade, Asiwaju Oloja General of Oyo State, Julianah Raimi and former Chief Judge of the state, Badejoko Adeniji.