Home Safety Flight Disruptions: “Stay Away from Aviation, your action irresponsible, illegal”…Yadudu tells NLC,...

Flight Disruptions: “Stay Away from Aviation, your action irresponsible, illegal”…Yadudu tells NLC, TUC


…says Runview demolition for safety and ICAO successful audit recertification of airport

The Managing Director, Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN, Capt. Rabiu Yadudu has described the action of the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC and the Trade Union Congress, TUC last week wednesday as irresponsible and condemn-able.

The organized labour had last week, disrupted flight operations across airports in the country to Owerri over alleged disruptions of their May Day rally by supposed thugs of the Imo State Government and to this end decided to cripple flights to that state.

Capt. Yadudu said, labour acted in clear disregard with impunity and a deliberate plan to massage their ego which had nothing to do with staff, workers or even the aviation industry and Nigeria.

“They wrote to us that their people in aviation should come and picket the Lagos Airport and they should not allow flights to go to Owerri Airport because their members were harassed by the Imo State Government. For any organization that is licensed by the government to behave in personal interest and not national interest, is very unfortunate. It has nothing to do with labours or workers in Nigeria”.

“In fact, they undermined aviation and other workers because people lost their flights. I pray no one dies. The more you distress aviation, the more you are creating vulnerability for uncertainty. What happened that day is very regrettable and just a sign of ego massage and I think that has no place in aviation”.

According to him, the NLC action is illegal and a violation of the Nigeria Civil Aviation Act which puts aviation as an essential service and in essential services, there is no room for picketing or blocking of operations because all Nigerians need it.

“They created an illegality and undermined the nation. The act was all over the world and I think it is very bad and unacceptable. We are not going to take it from them”.

“I think picketing needs to evolve. No body pickets in modern society now. Anybody or organisation that feels the only way they can get what they need is by making sure is to picket organisations, personally, we will fight it. I am not talking about FAAN. I am talking about aviation generally. I am talking about everyone and other organizations in the sector”.

The FAAN boss noted that, they have written to the minister, telling them the government needs to protect aviation from the action of the NLC, stressing that, airports are not places for anybody to come and exercise violence behaviour or mob action, ” We will not take it”.

“NLC should stay away from aviation. I didn’t say stay away from FAAN, but from the airport generally. As long as they keep on picketing, they should stay away. We need stakeholders’ confidence. If the industry is killed through lack of confidence, nobody will come in. It is Nigeria that will lose. So, NLC should stay away from aviation; airlines, catering services, ground handling, agencies. We don’t need a negative influence on our staff. The whole world doesn’t need mob action”..

Speaking on the demolished buildings in the Runview Estate, Ajao, Capt. Yadudu maintained that, the demolished buildings were illegally constructed and dangerous to their operations.

Demolished houses at Runview Estate, Ajao

“A few days ago, we had a session at the House and we made it clear that our motive and primary aim of the exercise was for safety and security of flight operations and also the safety and security of those inside the house. The exercise is for the dual purposes of our own safety and security and overall, for international standards”.

He emphasized that, their action was not a demolition but removal of illegal buildings by FAAN for the safety of lives.

“There is a purpose and direction for removing the illegal structures. The illegal owners may have lost money, but we saved lives”.

Another reason he gave for the demolition is for the successful recertification of the airport in the forth-coming ICAO Audit.

“In fact, we were forced to take this action, but there is the need for us to protect the airport for recertification”.

Efforts to Protect the Airport

FAAN will continue to do oversight, monitor and carry out surveillance of the place in conjunction with the other residents of the area, but it is a case of direct and willful disregard to the authority and rule of law. That was what created it. We also have regular patrols in those areas.

We are going to quickly re-erect and protect the fencing and lastly, we have procured a radar surveillance patrol system, which is automatic and zooms around 360 degrees with a radius of about 8km, which means it goes beyond the airport itself. It can spot anything beyond the airport. We spent about three years processing it and right now, it is on the high sea for installation at Lagos and Abuja airports. If it detects any image, even a rabbit it will focus on it.

We also bought a mobile rationale video for that purpose. We have the automatic and the manual patrols. They are very effective for the people residing in the area. What went on is not for lack of patrol, but for clear willful disregard to the laws. It has always been protected.

Why it took so long
People are not listening. They kept on building. Now, we have a bigger reason – the recertification of the airport. The international community knows it is a violation of safety. When we got the first one, these factors were among the issues they raised and they gave us time to remedy it before they return for recertification. We told them to give us one year to address it, but it took us four years to achieve. So, it took so long because we were briefing the residents on development. This is something that has been happening over the past 30 years. For the time that it happened, we were not there, but I can’t answer that.

Promise by the Chairman, Sub-Committee on Ajao Estate Demolition, Hon Ifeanyi Momah after assessment

We came on the spot assessment after the session that we had with the management team of FAAN. The committee will make their position known officially to the public in due course. The committee will address the media on some of the lingering issues.


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