16th July, 2010
At the posh Murtala Muhammed Airport 2, in Ikeja, Lagos, Nigeria, where the mighty and the influential meet daily, many Nigerians still find it difficult to use the escalators at the airport. Even the elite are victims.
Yesterday, a woman in one of her best attire spent a couple of minutes at the threshold of one of the escalators trying to figure out how the technology works. And when she finally attempted to use it, she slipped and fell.
She used the staircase instead after recovering from the fall, to get to the departure lounge where she was to board a plane.
The four escalators at MMA2 take passengers from the check-in section to the boarding and departure areas of the airport. They also convey air travellers from the departure hall to the check-in lounge of MMA2.
Daily, passengers fall while trying to use the escalators. Some prefer to use the staircase. â€œItâ€™s good to do some exercise,â€ some passengers told P.M.NEWS when asked why they prefer to use the staircase when the escalator will just take them upstairs with ease.
Some passengers resort to holding hands to ease their fright and stabilise themselves. A few days ago, a couple was seen holding hands firmly to avoid a fall. They were relieved when they got to the end of the escalator, their faces beaming with broad smiles.
Our correspondent observed that passengers find it difficult to use the escalator, especially at the threshold and exit.
This also applies to the three lifts available to passengers at MMA2 where some passengers have been stranded not due to power failure or mechanical fault, but because they did not know what button to press to make it work.
About three weeks ago, a passenger with Aero Contractor, who thought a stranger had travelled with her luggage, was scolded by the police at the Murtala Muhammed Airport Two (MMA2) after she screamed right in the MMA2â€™s terminal building. She was warned not to ever scream at the airport, a public place which attracts mainly the elite.
A manager of Bi-Courtney Aviation services, operators and owners of MMA2, who scurried to the checking area of the building after the high-pitched shout of the woman, told the passenger that next time she will be detained and interrogated by the police if such an incident ever occurs at the airport.
The woman, it was later learnt, was travelling by air for the first time. She had met a stranger and kept her luggage with her to make some calls. But, when she returned, the stranger, a passenger with the same airline, had joined the long queue at the check-in section of the building. Unable to locate the other passenger, the first-time air traveller started wailing, drawing the attention of everybody.
â€œI didnâ€™t know I cannot scream at the airport,â€ said the woman who was scolded by the police after she recovered her luggage.
â€œThere is need for more enlightenment,â€ she said.