The operations of airlines at the General Aviation Terminal of the Murtala Muhammad Airport, Lagos were interrupted for over four hours on Friday by members of the Nigeria Labour Congress and the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria.
According to reports, the unions’ leaders got to the airport early in the morning and ordered airline employees to stop working.
The unions’ officials were said to have arrived the terminal operated by the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria at 5:40am, and after some time, they left and came back a few minutes later with over 500 members.
Eyewitnesses said many passengers were divided on whether to support the airlines or the unions.
It was gathered that those operating at the Murtala Muhammed Airport Terminal 2, however, operated normally.
Aviation unions such as the National Union of Air Transport Employees; Association of Nigeria Aviation Professionals; the National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers; and the Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria had on Thursday issued a statement that they would not join the nationwide strike called by the NLC until Tuesday, October 2.
The Corporate Communications Manager, Air Peace, Chris Iwarah, told our correspondent that the ripple effect of the disruption could last for months.
He said the airline’s flights to Owerri, Enugu and Benin did not operate for the day, while many passengers on the other routes refused to fly due to the delays.
Iwarah stated, “It is sad and unfortunate. With what the unions have done, all our operations were affected. The entire chain was affected and we lost a lot of money.
“It is their right to protest, but they can’t compel anyone to join them. We are not against the unions’ strike but they can carry out their industrial action without using it to affect the private businesses of others.”
He called on the government to help stop the impunity of labour unions, especially in the aviation industry, because of safety reasons.
The Media and Communications Manager, Arik Air, Adebanji Ola, also confirmed the disruption of its operations.
He said flight operations, however, resumed later in the day.
The International Press Centre (IPC) has condemned the humiliation of
journalists during the Osun State governorship election which
According to Report from Premium Times, “a mob attacked
Oladipo Abiodun a Premium Times election observer at CAC, Ward 3
polling at Isokan Local Government Area of Osun State. He was
harrased by some persons because they suspected he was taking
pictures. Mr. Abiodun’s jacket was torn and his tag was destroyed by
hoodlums.”“Kemi Busari, a Premium Times journalist who covered the
Osun rerun election, was briefly arrested by the police this morning
for taking pictures at Polling Unit one, Ward 8, Orolu Local
Government Area. Mr. Busari who arrived the polling unit at about
7.40a.m. thought it fit to capture the voting process, but this landed
him in police custody.
“Some journalists were
sent back mid-way on their journey to cover the rerun election in Ifon
Osun, Orolu Local Government Area. They were sent back by police
officers who were on the spot to barricade the entrance to the polling
unit. The incident happened around 11.30a.m.”
The barred journalists were from diverse platforms such as
Premium Times, The Cable, Sahara Reporters and some local media.
IPC Director, Mr. Lanre
Arogundade said: “The various humiliations faced by journalists during
the Osun State governorship election was very unfortunate and an
impediment on democracy. The various incidents only portray what is
likely going to occur during the forthcoming general election if
immediate actions are not taken.”
“We therefore call on all media stakeholders and international
agencies to dialogue and chart the way forward for a peaceful
environment for journalists to carry out their responsibilities during
the general elections.”
IPC once again condemns the humiliation of
journalists in the just concluded Osun State governorship election,
and demands a public apology from the Nigerian Police Force.
The Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Skyway Aviation Handling
Company Limited, SAHCOL, Dr. Taiwo Afolabi (MON) has been honoured
with the ‘NUATE Philanthropic Award’, by the Nigerian Union of Air
Transport Employees, NUATE. The award was presented to
him at the Union Quadrennial National Delegates Conference and Awards
Ceremony, held at the Grand Hotel Convention Centre and Resort, Asaba,
Delta State, in the presence of eminent Nigerians, Labour and Chief
Executive Officers in Private and Public Sector.
According to the Nigerian Union of Air Transport Employee, Dr. Taiwo
Afolabi is an ‘internationally renowned and labour friendly
entrepreneur’, hence his choice as the recipient of the “NUATE
Philanthropic Award” to recognize his “immense contribution to the
growth and development of transportation in Nigeria.”
and conveying the solidarity message of the Chairman of SAHCOL to
NUATE the Managing Director/CEO, Basil Agboarumi expresses the
profound thanks of Dr. Taiwo Afolabi to the entire leadership and
membership of NUATE for deeming it fit to pick him for the award,
stating that he’s deeply honoured to receive the award.
commenting on the Conference theme, ‘Public Private
Partnership in Aviation, with Perspectives from three key
stakeholders; investor, Labour, and Management”, Dr. Afolabi Stated
that today’s workplace is in continuous need of partnership of all
stakeholders, reiterating that he has always partnered with Labour to
create industrial peace and harmony for the purpose of business growth
and development, hence will remain employees-centric in all business
He promised to continue to make
investments in Nigeria, particularly in the Aviation Industry, such as
will help produce the great Nigeria of our dream.
Dr. Afolabi is the Chairman of the Board of
Directors of Skyway Aviation handling company Limited. He is also the
Group Executive Vice Chairman of the Sifax Group of Companies and
currently the Honorary Consul of the Republic of Djibouti.
The Nigerian Shippers Council, NSC, has condemned its exclusion from the planned review of the port concession exercise, adding that this will deny the country needed technical input that would correct the mistakes of the past.
The Executive Secretary of NSC, Hassan Bello, made this known in Abuja at the on-going West and Central Africa sub-regional workshop and joint standing committee meeting organized recently by the Union of African Shippers Council, UASC in conjunction with the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, UNCTAD.
Bello said Shippers Council does not only possess the technical expertise, but also being a representative of the shippers, it is imperative for the Council to be fully represented in the process leading to the review.
He explained that most of the problems plaguing the concession exercise today is because the process leading to the concession of the ports initially was not made open and the port users were not involved.
“The review of the port concession is on-going, the Shippers Council is not part of the review of the concession agreement for now.
“The Nigerian Shippers Council is a representative of so many things, you cannot have any meaningful discussion without the input of NSC.
“Am aware that the Federal Ministry of Transportation is looking at this because one has to take the issue of all port users into consideration.
“That was the problem in the first instance when the negotiation for the port concession was going on, it was not made open. Even when it was completed, it took almost seven months for Nigerian Shippers Council to get a copy of the agreement.
“The process leading to the review should be made open. The enemies of open discussion will not succeed this time around because Shippers Council will insist that as port economic regulator and the representatives of shippers, it should be represented”, he said.
The Central Bank of Nigeria has recently expressed its plan to revoke the operating licences of some182 financial services institutions in the country.
The apex bank in a list published on its proposed plan indicated that the affected institutions comprised 154 microfinance banks (MFBs); six primary mortgage banks; and the remaining 22, finance companies.
It stated further that 62 of the MFBs had ceased from doing banking business while 74 became insolvent; 12 were terminally distressed; and six voluntarily liquidated.
The CBN listed the primary mortgage banks’ licences for revocation as Accord Savings and Loans Limited in Lagos that failed to recapitalise; and Ahocol Savings and Loans Limited in Anambra (state government-owned) that closed shop.
It listed other mortgage banks for revocation as including, Trans Atlantic Savings and Loans Limited in Bayelsa (state government-owned) that became insolvent; Royal Savings and Loans Limited in Delta State that also closed shop; Amex Savings and Loans Limited in Lagos that failed to recapitalise; and Supreme Savings and Loans Limited also in Lagos that closed shop.
The CBN disclosed that eight finance companies voluntary liquidated; 13 failed to recapitalise; while one became insolvent.
According to the apex bank, the affected institutions are located in different states of the country.
A man who claimed to be a staff member of the Independent National Electoral Commission was arrested by party supporters at Ayedaade Local Government Area of Osun State for tearing an INEC result sheet believed to be under contention when results of the state governorship election were being released.
The man, Salawu Mutiu Kolawole, with an INEC identification card, said a superior officer, Mrs Aderinoye, called him and directed him to proceed to St Peter’s in Ayedaade to tear the result sheet.
A Peoples Democratic Party agent had contended that 1,000 votes were deducted from the party’s result in the area earlier during the collation of results at the INEC office in Osogbo.
Kolawole said, “An Electoral Officer, Mrs Aderinoye, in Ayedaade council, called me and asked me to go to the council and tear the result sheet.
“Before I could ask her why I had to go and do it, she hung up. I approached another EO, Mr Oladunjoye, and told him what my boss said. I went there to tear it but while doing it, two party agents met me there and arrested me.”
There were indications in Abuja on Sunday that the national leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party might strike a deal with a former Deputy Governor of Osun State, Senator Iyiola Omisore, in a bid to win the state rerun governorship election slated for Thursday, investigations by our correspondent have revealed.
Omisore is the governorship candidate of the Social Democratic Party in the election in which the candidate of the PDP, Senator Ademola Adeleke, came first with 254, 698 votes while the candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Mr Gboyega Oyetola, came second with 254,345 votes.
The Independent National Electoral Commission has, however, said there would be rerun in some polling units where elections were cancelled.
The units, which were listed by the commission, are two in Orolu Local Government Area, one in Ife South Local Government Area, one in Ife North Local Government Area and one in Osogbo Local Government Area.
It was gathered that the PDP had already initiated discussions with Omisore towards winning the two units in his stronghold of Ife.
Apart from Omisore, the PDP was said to be planning to meet with candidates of other political parties that had what a source described as a “worthy outing” during the election on Saturday.
Such candidates, it was gathered, are African Democratic Congress’ Fatai Akinbade and Action Democratic Party’s Alhaji Moshood Adeoti.
Already, it was gathered that a former Minister of Aviation, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode, had spoken with Omisore on the need for the latter to support the PDP candidate in the rerun.
Fani-Kayode, who is also from Ile Ife like the former deputy governor, confirmed that he had spoken with both Omisore and Adeleke on the issue.
The former minister told our correspondent that there was a need for the parties to come together and “bury the ruling party in the state on Thursday.”
He said, “Yes, it is true that I have spoken with my brother, Senator Omisore, and our (PDP) candidate, Senator Adeleke, on the issue.
“I can tell you confidently that both of them are receptive to the idea and I can tell you that we are going to meet together to discuss working relationship before Thursday.
“We are not talking about any condition. We are doing all these for the love of our party and our people. We need to liberate the state from the vultures and invaders of our commonwealth. By the grace of God, we shall do it.”
It was gathered that a former Governor of the state, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola, would be involved in a discussion with Akinbade.
Oyinlola, it was learnt, would prevail on Akinbade, who served as the secretary to the state government while the former military administrator was the governor of the state, to support the deal.
Besides that, it was also learnt that the National Chairman of the PDP, Prince Uche Secondus, would personally speak with Akinbade, who was also a former state chairman of the PDP while Secondus was also chairman of the former ruling party in Rivers State.
Top sources in the PDP confided in our correspondent that the President of the Senate, Senator Bukola Saraki, who also heads the party’s 85-member governorship campaign council in the state, would be involved in the negotiations.
It was generally believed that Saraki’s efforts at bringing the runner-up in the party’s governorship primary in the state, Dr Akin Ogunbiyi, with Adeleke, helped the party on Saturday.
The source said, “We will involve Saraki in our meetings with these men. We cannot afford to lose the election in the state.
“Then, don’t forget that we have a working relationship with all the opposition political parties under the umbrella called Coalition of United Political Parties. We will invoke the spirit behind that.”
No fewer than 377 ward chairmen of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Lagos State have endorsed Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu for the governorship ticket.
They announced their support for the former Establishment & Training Commissioner ahead of next Saturday’s primary election.
Sanwo-Olu and another former Works & Infrastructure Commissioner Dr. Obafemi Hamzat are jostling for the party’s ticket with incumbent Governor Akinwunmi Ambode.
Also at the weekend, former Lagos State House of Assembly Speaker Adeyemi Ikuforiji urged Ambode’s kinsmen in Epe to pray for the governor to clinch the APC ticket at the scheduled direct primary.
Ikuforiji spoke in Epe during the Kayokayo festival.
At a meeting involving Sanwo-Olu, some party leaders and the grassroots mobilisers at Martino’s Hall, Ikeja, the chairmen, under the auspices of Conference of Ward Chairmen, promised to ensure Sanwo-Olu’s victory on Saturday.
Shola Oshobajo, who spoke for the chairmen, assured Sanwo-Olu of his members’ support before, during and after the primary election.
The Director-General of the Babajide Sanwo-Olu Campaign Organisation (BOSCO), Mr. Tayo Ayinde, described Sanwo-Olu as a party man, who will not abandon the party and its members if elected the governor.
He enjoined the conference members to mobilise all party men and women in their individual wards to come out in large numbers and vote for Sanwo-Olu as the APC candidate.
APC chieftain Cardinal James Odunmbaku told members of the Conference not to despair, emphasising that a Sanwo-Olu-led government will be a listening and an inclusive one, especially for members of the party whose input will be paramount and will form part of decision making process.
Sanwo-Olu thanked them for the confidence reposed in him and promised not to disappoint them when he gets to power.
He reminded the grassroots politicians of his role as a fund raiser for the party in most of the elections held in the past.
At the festival in Epe, Ikuforiji urged the people to be calm and support the governor in prayers for him to be successful in the re-election bid.
FORMER Senate Leader Mohammed Ali Ndume yesterday scored Senate President Bukola Saraki’s leadership of the upper chamber below average.
Ndume, who represents Borno South Senatorial District, said it was stating the obvious that the Senate under Dr. Saraki, has failed Nigerians.
Speaking at the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) Forum in Abuja, the Borno senator noted that Saraki and House of Representatives Speaker Yakubu Dogara, had privatised and personalised the legislative arm of government.
Ndume said Saraki has no justification to retain his seat as Senate President after defecting to the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
He also lauded the military for the concerted effort at eliminating insurgency in some parts of the country.
On the Senate leadership, Ndume said: “I really want to admit that we have failed in our responsibility to the people somehow but we the members are not responsible for that.
”It is more of the responsibility of the leadership that shut down the Senate abruptly because of personal issues.
”It is very unfortunate. The Senate is the Nigerian Senate, it is not the senator’s Senate; it is not Saraki’s Senate.
“It is very unfortunate that the National Assembly has been reduced to Saraki and Dogara.”
According to him, Saraki and Dogara have privatised and personalised the legislative arm of government, a development he called an aberration.
Ndume said: “They (Saraki and Dogara) have privatised and personalised the institution, and the reason we were elected to be there has been relegated to the background.
“This is very unfortunate, but I want Nigerians to know that the Senate has not been shut down by the Senators or members of House of Representatives.
”The Senate was shut down by Saraki and Dogara and they should be held responsible for that.”
He noted that the Senate, which is yet to reconvene, must move on without Saraki.
The former Senate Leader added that he had made concerted efforts to see how the Senate could reconvene, especially to consider about five matters of national importance.
His efforts, he said, have been without success, adding that the the matters he wanted considered were abandoned by the National Assembly before it proceeded on the long recess.
His words: “We tried everything to get the Senate President or the leadership to reconvene the Senate, but that have not been successful.”
On why the Senate President should quit, Ndume noted that Saraki should know that he was not supposed to retain the position of President of the Senate, because he could not “eat his cake and have it”.
Saraki, he said, lost all rights to retain the seat when he defected to the PDP.
Ndume posited that the only thing that could save Saraki from being impeached remained a vote of confidence from his colleagues.
”I think that is the only thing he can do; may be he did that before, let him try it; let him call for vote of confidence from us, his colleagues.
”I assure you that he will not get the majority.”
Ndume described the statement credited to some politicians that Saraki could only be impeached by two-third of members of the house as not only wrong, but also a total misconception.
To him, since Saraki decided to leave the APC for PDP, he should have left the position as he could not be in a minority party and be President of the Senate.
He recalled that as minority leader in the House of Representatives, he defected to PDP from the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) and resigned from the position without being asked to do so.
The senator said it was natural that he left the position because he could not move from the minority to the majority and still be a minority leader.
Ndume noted that there should only be one Senate President who is supposed to come from the majority political party.
“I am still thinking and hoping that Saraki will do the right thing and the right thing is for him to relinquish that position for the majority to preside,” Ndume said.
On the fight against Boko Haram, he said the move by the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, in ensuring collaboration with the Nigerian Air Force and other agencies had helped a great deal.
He said that the relocation of the operational headquarters of the military was a major factor in the defeat of Boko Haram.
However, he called on them to concentrate on three black spots of “the deep Sambisa Forest, the Lake Chad fringes and the Mandara Mountains.
He said the sect, which was still active in those areas for obvious reasons, must be brought to its knees.
Ndume said: “The resurfacing of the sect is more in Northern Borno. These are the fringes of Lake Chad. I am suspecting that because of the money they got from the ransome allegedly paid, their proximity to international terrorist organisation, Nigeria bordering Mali and Niger and the open, vast and porous borders, they are buying and transporting light arms.
”Also, they are getting money from the businesses around Lake Chad that they have taken over. They are now the ones involved in the cattle business and all that.
“Those are the areas they get money from. With this money they are able to fund their operations.”
On concerns that the sect had not been completely eliminated, the lawmaker said fighting insurgency was different from fighting conventional war.
He said: “We have been fighting insurgency in the North East which is different from the conventional war where you know you have soldiers belonging to a particular group that you can identify.
“Besides, insurgency is not happening only in Nigeria. It is happening in Afghanistan, Syria and all that. Like the case of Afghanistan, the case has been going on for some years now.”