A mild drama ensued at the Presidential Wing of the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Ikeja, Lagos, Monday, as former President, Olusegun Obasanjo, was attacked by a middle-aged man who pounced on him inside his car.
The incident occurred at about 9:20a.m.
The former president’s attacker, whose identity was not immediately known, had earlier before Obasanjo’s arrival attempted to enter the presidential wing of the airport, but was turned back by Air Force personnel manning the gate, especially as he could not explain his mission at the wing.
The man was not only denied entry, but was also driven away from the precincts of the wing and told never to return to the area, particularly as President Goodluck Jonathan’s presidential jet was parked at the wing.
Unknown to the Air Force personnel and some mobile policemen whose presence at the airport was due to the president’s presence in Lagos, the man had laid ambush, hiding behind the fence of the car park attached to the presidential lounge.
Former President Obasanjo’s chartered jet touched down a few minutes after 9:00a.m., and the former president, in his usual jocular manner exchanged banters with press men attached to the presidential lounge. He then hopped into his car, a Toyota Landcruiser special utility vehicle, SUV, sandwiched between two excort vehicles with his security aides, leaving behind Chief Kenny Martins who came to receive him.
As the convoy of three vehicles tried to negotiate its way into Airport Road, towards the local wing of the airport, the man emerged from nowhere. He ran towards the Jeep in the middle of the convoy, opened the door and started kicking and raining blows on the former President.
The opening of the door of Obasanjo’s car drew the attention of both the Air Force personnel and Mobile Policemen some 100 metres away, and they quickly dragged the man out of the car and gave him the beating of his life.
When he recovered from the attack, the visibly shaken Obasanjo immediately asked his driver to drive off, while scores of security men had rounded up the attacker who, amidst beatings, screamed persistently “America is watching, …America is watching.”
The man attempted to escape, but when some of the military personnel cocked their guns to shoot, he quickly laid on the floor begging for leniency.
The man, who looked well fed and dressed up, was dragged to the Air Force wing of the airport, as he refused to explain his mission and motive behind the attack of the former President.
The development prompted tightening of security at the presidential wing, as every person or vehicle entering the lounge and car park were subjected to stringent security screening.