Press Statement


The Managing Director of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) Captain Rabiu Yadudu last week not only exhibited unbridled arrogance and inhibitive ignorance when he described the peaceful action of the Nigeria Labour Congress and Trade Union Congress of Nigeria in solidarity with Imo State workers at the Lagos Airport as a “mob action” that would no longer be tolerated.

Yadudu claimed pickets were out of fashion and “that the NLC acted…with impunity” but admitted that NLC ” wrote to us that their people should come and picket the the Lagos airport and they should not allow flights to go to Owerri Airport because their members were harassed by the Imo State Government”.

Yadudu could not cite any authority that outlawed the picketing even as he ranted:
“They deliberately planned that action just to massage their ego. It has nothing with staff, workers or even the aviation industry in Nigeria. For any organisation that is licensed by the government to behave in personal interest, not national interest, it is unfortunate”.

We advise Yadudu to shut up instead of misinformimg the public about what happened.
He goes down as the most incompetent MD in the history of the aviation sector under whose watch the sector witnessed the highest number of shut downs and pickets. Coming to the fact in issue, it is public knowledge that there are issues in Imo State. It is equally true that our credo is, “an injury to one is an injury to all”. So clearly, he is the liar here.

And secondly, neither NLC nor TUC has need to massage their ego and for what purpose, anyway? If any one is guilty of cheap talk and ego-tripping here, it is Yadudu who thinks nothing of the suffering workers in Imo and who believes it is his birthright to resort to the use of four letter words even as he mismanages FAAN with impunity.

Not satisfied with his cheeky talk, he usurped the role of the judiciary by declaring the action as “illegal” because according to him, the Nigeria Civil Aviation Act “has put aviation as an essential service…[where] there is no room for picketing or blocking of operations because all Nigerians need it”.

Here again, this ‘Judge’ missed the fact and the law, the fact being that only an insignificant population of Nigeria fly and not all Nigerians as he claimed. Secondly, major airports across the world have been picketed or have suffered service withdrawal including Heathrow only recently.

On where he missed the law, he should ask his lawyer as we would not oblige him this information on the pages of newspapers.

As for Yadudu’s order to the NLC and TUC to steer clear of aviation activities, we consider it as nurgatory as such powers do not reside with him in the first place. Similarly, his attempt to put a wedge between the aviation sector unions and the NLC and TUC will go to no issue as it is a manifestation of a desperate man.

We forgive Yadudu for deregulating his mouth but next time, it won’t be so. He will understand that not even a seven-headed spirit has monopoly of verbal violence.

Our parting shot, however is that, he should rise from the ashes of his incompetence to account for the humongous resources of FAAN as no one feels the impact of FAAN under his watch.

Benson Upah
Head of Information and Public Affairs

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