Ex-workers of the liquidated Nigeria Airways Limited have been thrown into mourning in the last one week over the death of seven of its members.
Since the liquidated of the airline in 2004 many of its ex-staff have died because of their inability to secure funds for treatment or cater for their families among others.
Many of the deceased were not able to secure their pension and gratuity which form part of the N45 billion relaesed recently by the Federal Government.
Recalled that former workers of NAL had protested peacefully the delay in the payment of their over N78 billion severance benefits that was approved by the federal government.
The protest led to the immediate release of N45 billion by the Federal Government.
However, as at the time of compiling this report, is not clear to the former workers of the liquidated NAL the agency whithholding the N45 billion.
The ex NAL Elders Forum ,who converge every Wednesday at NUATE Secretariate, Murtala Muhammed Airport(MMA),Lagos could not delibrate on issues as they usually do as it concerns their welfare but rather it was time to mourn their departed colleagues.
Speaking to journalists during the Elder Forum of NAL workers, the Chairman of the Forum , Engr. Godwing Jibodu stated that between last; Wednesday October 11 and 18,2017, the ex workers have lost seven persons described as part of the first 11 of the moribund airline.
He gave the names of the ex-workers who died recently to include: Capt. Asuquo, Capt. Akintaju, Capt. Ohioma, Capt. Akinyosade and Engr. KC Amah, Mr Onyebuchi Anunobi,
He stated that these great men are dying in droves becuase they do not have money to take care of themselves, adding that would have been able to seek medical attention if they were paid their gratuity and pension that is presently been withheld by unknown agency of government after N45 billion was released by Federal Government.
The Chairman also gave the names of those suffering from stroke as: Engr. Bose Oladamiye, Mrs Adedayo Awoyinka, Engr. I. Belgam and Engr. Ebenezer Akinbode
“This sad and disheartening,” Jibodu said.
Jibodu further stated that the ex-NAL workers had tried to reach out to the Ministry of Aviation, Finance and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), adding that their efforts did not yield any fruitful result.
According to him, “We have tried to reach out to the Federal Ministry of Aviation ,finance and Central Bank of Nigeria but there is no response from them. And as wee speak to you no response as to who is holding our money.”
Lamenting further , Jibodu stated that Capt.Akintoju , the first Nigerian that flew the VC10 aircraft from London to Lagos died three days ago , describing the deaths recorded so far as regretable.
He also disclosed that Capt. Charles Ntanyi one the pilots in the “first 11 of the former NAL workers,who took a commercial bus because he could not afford a car dispappered about two months ago , adding that up till this monent his whereabout is still unknown
The Chairman of the Ex –NAL Elders Forum , also revealed that the first avioninc engineer, Bose Oladunmiye is at the point of death , calling on the Federal Government to act fast to ensure that the N45 billion already relleased is paid to them to avoid further deaths.
He called on the Federal Government and the entire Nigeria not to forget the contributions of the former workers, adding that ex-NAL workers are still contributing to the development of the aviation industry.
According to him, “There is no airline in the country today where you don’t find ex-Nigeria Airways Limited workers.”
According to jibodu, “As we mourning our colleagues who died, we are equally asking; who is holding our money that has been realesed by the Federal Government.”