A mild drama occurred at the Akure airport Saturday afternoon when cows grazing on the airport runway stopped an Air Peace aircraft from landing.
This comes on the heels of a recent attack by herdsmen on Akure South Local Government Secretariat earlier in the week, disrupting activities of the council area for hours.
An eyewitness who spoke with SUNSHINE HERALD said flight 7002 with registration number 5NBQQ which was coming from Lagos for Akure had to hover in the air for about 15 minutes before the cows could be dispersed from the runway for it to land.
The Federal Aviation Authority of Nigeria, FAAN confirmed in the incident.
In a statement signed by Mrs Henrietta Yakubu its General Manager, Corporate Affairs, FAAN apologized to the airline and the passengers for the incident.
She said: The Air Peace flight, which left Lagos for Akure could not land immediately as some cows had strayed into the runway of the airport.
"However, normalcy was restored quickly, as officers of the aviation security department quickly dispersed the cows from the runway and the aircraft was cleared for landing.
"The authority will like to assure travellers and the general public that efforts are already ongoing to close the gap that aided this incident."
The Corporate Affairs Manager of Air Peace, Mr Chris Iwarah who spoke with PUNCH also confirmed the incident.
"At about 12:15 pm the control tower advised our pilot to hold because cows were on the runway of the airport. The flight held for about seven minutes. They also called the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria's Aviation Security department to clear the runway which was done. The pilot was asked to land after the runway was cleared.
"The aircraft landed safely without any incident and passengers were duly informed about the situation while they were still hovering waiting for instruction to land," Iwarah said.
A member of staff of FAAN at the Akure airport who spoke with SUNSHINE HERALD under a condition of anonymity said the airport had been asking the authorities of FAAN to provide funds for the perimeter fencing of the airport for a long time.
The plea he said has continuously fallen on deaf ears.
He, however, hopes that this recent incident will make something urgent to be done to avert future occurrences.