The Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, Festus Keyamo, criticized the protest staged by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja. The demonstration, prompted by a dispute with the Imo State government following an assault on NLC President Joe Ajaero, disrupted airport activities, impacting numerous travelers.
Addressing an aviation retreat in Warri, Delta State, Keyamo questioned why the unions focused on the aviation sector, emphasizing that aviation wasn’t involved in the dispute. He pleaded with them to spare aviation from their grievances, emphasizing the global repercussions affecting both foreigners and ordinary Nigerians.
While expressing his friendship with the labor movement, Keyamo urged protesting unionists to reconsider their actions for the nation’s sake. He also warned against allowing politics to infiltrate and damage the labor movement, emphasizing the need to distance themselves from political influences.
The Imo State government denied involvement in the assault on Ajaero, attributing it to political entanglements. Despite the unions scheduling a nationwide strike on November 14th, Keyamo cautioned them against aligning too closely with politics, urging the leadership to maintain focus on labor issues rather than getting embroiled in political conflicts.
The NLC had initially planned a demonstration in Owerri, Imo state, to address salary and pension payment issues. However, the protest was banned by state police, leading to allegations of attacks on Ajaero during the crackdown on the demonstration.