Aviation unions in the country have expressed displeasure over the recent breach of security by some officials alleged to be Customs officers.
The Secretary General of the association, Comrade Abdulrazaq Saidu
Some Customs officers and other security agencies working within the airport, especially Murtala Mohammed Airport were recently accused of breaking into the gate of some sensitive area of the MMA.
In their reaction, the Association of Nigerian Aviation Professionals (ANAP) condemned the incident, stressing that labour unions in the aviation industry will not tolerate such act next time.
In an official statement issued Monday, signed by the Secretary General of the association, Comrade Abdulrazaq Saidu, the union stated “It has become unbearable the inhuman treatments and harassments being meted to the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) Avsec Staff and other Aviation Workers by Customs officers and other security operatives at the Nigeria Civil Airports which have been going on for too long and is still continued unabated. It is unacceptable and we hereby call on the Federal Government, National Assembly and officers of the Armed Forces to call the Customs officers and other security operatives, operating at MMIA, Hajj and cargo terminals including all other civil airports, to order, not to incur anger of labour unions which may lead to industrial crisis.
According to Comrade Saidu, ANAP was duly registered by the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment to protect and represent the interests of all Professionals and Administrative Cadres in aviation Industry which has empowered the union to act, aimed at protecting the Industry at large.
“Our concern is as a result of persistent provocation and threat to the lives of Aviation workers and airport users while on duty at the classified security restricted areas at Airports where some previous tendencies ended in death.
” The Avsec of FAAN is empowered by the enabling Act to carry arms while on duty but were denied for reasons we cannot understand and this their denial has become instrumental weapon to harass and assault FAAN Avsec personnel by Customs officers and other arm carrying security operatives. This has been on for the past several years and it is unacceptable.
“The forceful breach of classified security restricted areas at airports by Customs officers should be stopped completely by the Federal Government because it has long become serious threat to safety and security of aviation workers and airport users in general. Due to their dastardly acts of impurity, people have lost their lives and some received body injuries while on duty”.
“If this type of breach of security persist, it shall send a bad signal to the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) and the aviation community in general. It could also affect the current Category certificate, being enjoyed by Nigeria which was laboured hard to achieve by the Federal Government. In addition, if this impunity perpetrated by Customs officers are not stopped, we shall have no other option than to take labour action as we may deem fit to checkmate the inhuman treatment of FAAN Avsec by the Customs officials at the airports”.
The union also called on the Federal Government and NASS including Customs Service management to do the needful by calling their Customs officers to order, so as to avoid a nationwide industrial strike which could emerge out of provocation.