Aviation sector unions have directed the withdrawal of all flights to Owerri, the Imo State capital, from all airports in Nigeria.
This unions’ action is in obedience to the directive of the leadership of organised labour, comprising the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC ) which declared a nationwide strike in protest of last week’s brutalisation of the NLC President, Joe Ajaero, in Owerri.
The aviation unions namely the National Union Of Air Transport Employees (NUATE), Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ATSSSAN), Association of Nigeria Aviation Professionals (ANAP) and the National Association of Aircraft Pilots And Engineers (NAAPE), announced their decision in a joint statement.
The joint statement signed by their General-Secretaries, including Comrades Ocheme Aba; NUATE, Frances Akinjole; ATSSSAN, Abdul Rasaq Saidu; ANAP and Umoh Ofonime, NAAPE, also declared Governor Hope Uzodimma persona non grata in all airports.
The statement read: “Following the escalation of the imbroglio created by the mayhem unleashed on workers by the Imo State Government of Hope Uzodimma and continued insensitivity of the government over the matter; and in compliance with the directive of the joint NEC session of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC), the above named unions, being affiliates of NLC and TUC, hereby direct all aviation workers (both public and private) to withdraw all services to all Owerri flights (inwards and outwards) from any airport in Nigeria with effect from midnight of 08/11/2023 (today).
“In addition, the person of Hope Uzodimma, the governor of Imo State is hereby declared persona non grata at all airports in Nigeria until he purges himself of bestial tendencies.
“Our unions will make further efforts through our international affiliations to blacklist Hope Uzodimma worldwide.
“Furthermore, all aviation workers in Sam Mbakwe International Cargo Airport, Owerri are hereby directed to stay at home, also with effect from midnight today (08/11/2023) as directed by NLC and TUC.
“Based on the above, the State Councils and all Branches of the unions will meet today at 5pm in Lagos and Abuja to agree on modalities for carrying out the above directive. The meeting in Lagos will hold at NUATE Secretariat, while that of Abuja will be at GAT (pilgrims’ terminal).
“By this notice, the airports’ managements, airlines operating into and out of Owerri, intending airport passengers into and out of Owerri, and the general public are hereby advised about this situation so as to be forewarned.”