This is just as the unions have warned that it would no longer tolerate any further assault and brutalization of its members who are civilian airport workers and would not hesitate to direct withdrawal of its members from identified danger zones in which threat to the lives of workers is allowed free reign.
According to a statement signed by Secretary Generals of three unions including General Secretary, NUATE, Comrade Ocheme Aba, Deputy General Secretary, ATSSSAN, Comrade Frances Akinjole, Secretary General, ANAP, Comrade Abdul Rasaq Saidu recorded assaults by security personnel so far have arisen from forceful entry, or attempted forceful entry, into restricted areas by unauthorized security personnel.
The statement read,”It has become absolutely necessary to cry out about the unceasing assault and brutality being meted to aviation security personnel of FAAN and other aviation workers by national security personnel serving at Nigerian airports. Such incidences have been more prevalent at the MMIA, Lagos. And Customs Officers have been most guilty of these atrocities.
“All recorded assaults by security personnel so far have arisen from forceful entry, or attempted forceful entry, into restricted areas by unauthorised security personnel; leaving attendant FAAN Aviation Security staff brutalized, sometimes heavily. All such incidences allude to serious security breaches at the airports concerned.
“The question remains as to how long these delinquent national security personnel shall continue to breach national security, brutalize other aviation workers and carry on flouting civil aviation regulations made for safe and secure operations at the airports. How long shall our unions turn blind eyes to the continuing debasement of the dignity of labour of these hapless aviation workers in the hands of armed and marauding Customs Officers and other security forces at the airports? We hold that time has come to state clearly that enough is enough.
“In the light of the foregoing, we find it necessary and urgent to call the attention of the Honourable Minister of Aviation, the Director General of the NCAA, the Management Director of FAAN, and the Heads of the security agencies at the airports to put heads together for the purpose of putting an end to assault and brutality against aviation workers, particular to FAAN Aviation security personnel, by airports security forces.
“In the first place, it should be noted that the airports in question are civil, and not military, airports, which are under the purview of the regulations of NCAA, and of which aviation security is an important part. This should speak to the manner of inter-relationship of all security agencies at the airports. Considering that all the security agencies perform important functions, none less than the other, we expect that they should all work with mutual respect for each other, instead of the present anachronism.
“May we, therefore, call on the heads of all security forces at the airports – the Nigerian Police Force, the Nigerian Airforce, the Nigerian Customs Service, the Nigerian Immigration Service, the Nigerian Drug Law Enforcement Agency, and any other, to urgently reign in their officers and bring about collaboration and co-operation among themselves in the interest of National Security and the dignity of other civilian colleagues at the airports workplaces.
“However, and very importantly, we should warn that our Unions will no longer tolerate any further assault and brutalization of our members who are civilian airport workers. Should there be another incidence of such, we shall not hesitate to direct withdrawal of all our members from identified danger zones in which threat to the lives of workers is allowed free reign.”