Sick Airports, Sick Airlines By Dele Agekameh

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Shortly after the unfortunate Dana crash on June 3, 2012, I left the country for a well-deserved vacation in the United States of America, USA. And for some five weeks, I had a breath of fresh air, undiluted by any form of pollution – human or nature. But as I prepared to come back home, the news of the gory massacre on the Plateau came. A sitting senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the majority leader of the Plateau State House of Assembly and several others were callously mowed down by some barbarians engaged in an endless ethnic cleansing. Nigeria we hail thee!

Well, the story today is that many of our airports in the country have been turned into huge construction sites. And when you look closely, you tend not to know what value these will add to the rot that is visible everywhere – at the lobbies, ticketing counters, restrooms (those ones are eyesores), or even the mannerism of the airport staff or security agents at the various airports.

The Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, the major gateway to the country, is also not immune from all the negative impressions about airports in Nigeria. On my way out of the country through the Airport, more than 80 percent of the passengers were kept standing at the boarding gate for United Airlines’ flight to Houston, Texas. I had checked in early enough to give me more time to make some final calls to people but that could not be done as passengers were crammed into a little, tiny space that could hardly accommodate even a quarter of them. And even at that, people were kept standing for hours, waiting to board the flight like school children on the morning assembly.

Also on your way out, you may not encounter much problem at the check-in counters. Where you are actually confronted b

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