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Unions threaten strike over assault on aviation security personnel

Aviation unions have cried out over frequent assault and brutality on “defenceless” Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria’s (FAAN) Aviation Security (AVSEC) personnel at various airports…

Aviation unions have cried out over frequent assault and brutality on “defenceless” Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria’s (FAAN) Aviation Security (AVSEC) personnel at various airports across the country, warning that they may be forced to withdraw their services at airports where such assaults are prevalent.

The unions said the recorded assaults in recent times “arose from forceful entry or attempted forceful entry into restricted areas by unauthorised security personnel; leaving attendant AVSEC staff brutalised; sometimes heavily.”

Daily Trust reports that there was a discord between FAAN and the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) over security breach by an Area Comptroller of Customs.

The unions: National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE), Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ATSSSAN) and Association of Nigerian Aviation Professionals (ANAP), condemned the unceasing assault by armed security operatives working at Nigerian airports.

In a statement, the heads of the unions Comrade Ocheme Aba (General Secretary of NUATE); Comrade Frances Akinjole (Deputy General Secretary of ATSSSAN) and Comrade Abdul Rasaq Saidu (General Secretary of ANAP), warned that the unions would no longer tolerate any assault and brutalisation of its members who were civilian airport workers.

The statement reads in part: “Should there be another incident 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.”

It reads further: “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.

“The question remains as to how long these delinquent national security personnel shall continue to breach national security, brutalise other aviation workers and carry on flouting civil aviation regulations made for safe and secure operations at the airports.”

The unions called on the Minister of Aviation, the DG of NCAA and the MD of FAAN “to put heads together for the purpose of putting an end to assault and brutality against aviation workers, particularly AVSEC personnel, by airports’ security forces.

“In the first place, it should be noted that the airports in question are civil, 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 one another instead of the present anachronism.

“May we, therefore, call on the heads of all security forces at the airports – the Nigeria Police Force, the Nigerian Air Force, the Nigerian Customs Service, the Nigerian Immigration Service, the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency and any other, to urgently reign in their officers and bring about collaboration and cooperation among themselves in the interest of national security and the dignity of other civilian colleagues at the airport workplaces.”

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