‘I’ve been trying to land in Lagos since Monday’

Planes have been unable to land this week at Nigeria’s main airport in Lagos because of poor visibility caused by the seasonal harmattan winds.

Adebisi Akinsulire has now made it to the capital, Abuja
Adebisi Akinsulire has now made it to the capital, Abuja

The BBC’s Adebisi Akinsulire has been trying to get home to Lagos since Monday. He left Barcelona in Spain heading for Lagos via Dubai. A direct flight from Dubai should have taken about eight hours.

My journey started from Dubai on Tuesday and our flight was supposed to land at about 3:40pm but on getting to Lagos we noticed that the plane kept hovering around Lagos airspace.

The pilot made an announcement that he was going to try and land, but the weather was not good.

After he tried we were in the airspace for about [another] 20 minutes, he then took a detour to Accra airport [in Ghana].

On getting to Accra airport we stayed in the aeroplane for about an hour-and-a-half to two hours because they were trying to see if we could get information on the weather in Lagos improving.

But the weather did not improve, so we got off the plane and we were told we were going to try and make the journey the next day, which was Wednesday.

We were supposed to fly by 10am. When it came to that time, the Emirates official said the weather was still not good – they were still having challenges with landing.

One of the pilots walked up to us and he was trying to explain the situation. He said what was broken is actually the ILS system, which is supposed to aid bigger planes in nasty weather. The ILS in the Lagos airport is not functioning.

At about 5pm we were told to go back to the hotel. On Thursday we were told by Emirates officials that they had not been given clearance to come in.

Today being Friday we got to the airport quite early we were told we were going to fly at about 9am.


On boarding the plane the pilot mentioned to us that we would either be going to Lagos or Abuja. Midway into the flight there was an announcement that he’s tried to reach the tower and the tower is not giving the clearance to land so we were going to Abuja.”

Akinsulire and about 200 other passengers have now landed in Nigeria’s capital, Abuja.

Weekend briefing

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They are still waiting in the terminal building to find out how and when they will be able to make the journey of more than 700km (400 miles) to Lagos.

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