A heated exchange has unfolded between the Akwa-Ibom State government and former governor Obong Victor Attah regarding the state-owned Victor Attah International Airport (VAIA) in Uyo. The bone of contention revolves around the absence of functional landing lights for night flights at the airport, leading to a war of words between the two parties.

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Attah, the namesake of the airport, expressed frustration over the delay in completing the Maintenance, Repairs, and Operations (MRO) project, which was intended to enhance the airport’s revenue generation. He recounted a personal experience of a flight cancellation due to non-operational runway lights, limiting the airport to daylight flights only. Attah emphasized the significance of night flights for airport functionality and expressed concern over the delay in completing critical projects, including the Ibom Deep Seaport and the Ibom Science Park.

In response, the state government, through Commissioner for Information Ini Ememobong, expressed disappointment at Attah’s comments and advised citizens to seek updated information before making public statements on such matters. Ememobong affirmed the safety and full operational status of the airport, highlighting ongoing construction works and the commitment to maximizing the state’s potential in the aviation industry.

The exchange comes amidst the backdrop of the South African team’s reported diversion to land at the neighboring airport in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, due to operational lapses at VAIA. This incident underscores the practical implications of the airport’s limitations on flight operations and the inconvenience experienced by travelers.

The discord between the former governor and the state government reflects broader concerns about the completion of critical infrastructure projects and the overall development trajectory of the state. The delay in finalizing essential projects, such as the MRO facility and the Ibom Deep Seaport, raises questions about the state’s commitment to realizing its full economic and developmental potential.

As the war of words continues, it is evident that the completion of vital infrastructure projects, including the MRO facility and the Ibom Deep Seaport, is crucial for the state’s economic growth and the seamless operation of the Victor Attah International Airport. The resolution of these issues will not only enhance the airport’s functionality but also contribute to the overall development and prosperity of Akwa-Ibom State.

The exchange between the former governor and the state government underscores the need for transparent communication, collaborative efforts, and a shared commitment to addressing the challenges facing the Victor Attah International Airport and other critical infrastructure projects in the state.