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*Nigeria airspace to be shut over oil subsidy removal-"There is no going back", says Motajo, acting Sec Gen, NUATE
By Lateef Lawal
Aviation workers including Pilots and Engineers are set to shut down Nigeria’s airspace to both domestic and foreign airlines in accordance with the directives of the Nigeria Labour Congress(NLC) and the Trade Union Congress(TUC) to protest the removal of petroleum subsidy by the Federal Government. To strategize for the planned nationwide protest, all the aviation unions/associations in the industry have started mobilizing their members to ensure the total shut down of the country’s airspace with the summoning of all executive members of all the aviation unions and association to an emergency meeting on Friday,January 6, 2012 at an undisclosed venue. This was disclosed by the acting Secretary General of the National Union of Air Transport Employees(NUATE),Comrade Abdul-Kareem Motajo while shedding light on the commitment of aviation workers to follow to the letter the directives from the TUC and the NLC saying that organized labour movements and especially Nigerians can no longer afford supporting a “deaf and dumb” government that derive pleasure on inflicting pains and unbearable hardships on the masses. ( Continues below..... )
Photo Above: An Airborne Plane (Photo 1)
According to Comrade Motajo, a circular has been issued to all employees and stakeholders in the air transport sector and allied organizations directing them to “ close down operations at 00.00hrs Sunday-meaning Monday 9thJanuary,2012” and added that they must ensure full compliance in the interest of all Nigerians and ”our industry”. The circular was endorsed by Comrade Olayinka Abioye,Deputy General Secretary of Air Transport Service Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, Comrade Abdul-Kareem Motajo, Acting General Secretary of NUATE and Comrade Umoh Ofonimeh,Assistant General Secretary of National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers(NAAPE). Expatiating on the planned strike action, Comrade Motajo said that the government should not be deceived that if the labour leaders are arrested, the total nationwide strike would be scuttled. He said, “arrest or no arrest the Nigerian people are ready for the total stagnation of economic activities throughout the country come Monday, 9th, January 2012 unless the government listen to the voice of reason and revert to N65.00 per liter of petrol that subsist before the unpopular hike of the pump price of petrol to N138-N141”. ( Continues below….. )
Photo Above: An Airborne Plane (Photo 2)
The unions, he further assured are reaching out to other professional bodies in the industry, especially the Air Traffic Controllers, Aeronautic Engineers, Aeronautic Information Service and others ensure success of the strike and send a signal to President Goodluck Jonathan that he was in the saddle at the instance of popular support he enjoyed during the last presidential election and he should therefore listen to the voice of the people and desist from going down into ignominy as the worst president Nigeria ever had. Re-echoing the stand of the NLC and the TUC ,he enjoined the police and the military not to in anyway disrupt peaceful protest by Nigerians, because they are also part of the polity with ”our families and theirs going to the same market, all our children and family members going on public transport whose fares have been hiked by over 100 per cent by the unpopular removal of subsidy by the government”. If President Jonathan refused to revert to the old price of N65 per liter, Comrade Motajo said the organized labour would be in the fore-front of calling for his impeachment as he no longer serve the interest and welfare of Nigerians he swore to protect at his inauguration and that the killing of an unarmed protester in Ilorin was an act of deliberate man’s inhumanity to man as is being unfolded by the Jonathan administration and that,”we are ready to prosecute this inhuman act at the international court of justice in the Hague”.
Lateef Lawal (NigerianAviationNews)
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