Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, has expressed fear over a threat by the members of the National Association of Nigeria Aviation Professionals (ANAP) to shut down airports across the country in solidarity with the striking members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
The minister who spoke with State House Correspondents on Wednesday at the Presidential Villa, Abuja warned that if ANAP should carry out its threat, it would be disastrous to Nigeria’s security.
DECENCY GLOBAL NEWS earlier reported that aviation workers threatened to go on solidarity strike in solidarity with university lecturers’ union, Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), which has been on strike for five months.
According to a report by TheCable, Sirika, while expressing his fear over ANAP’s threat, said, “I’m naturally concerned about this. If the aviation union will shut down in support of ASUU, I would say they have no need to. I will also say that we should begin to look at civil aviation as a critical national security enterprise. It has all the implications.
“We should not contemplate or think about an aviation disaster. We should also think about the general activity on the economy of Nigeria without civil aviation.
“This is democracy, you can push for demands, but in pressing for demands, you should be reasonable in doing so.
“So, civil aviation workers, I think, should not be part of this. Yes, I am concerned and yes, we’ve spoken to them and I don’t think they will join because they know that there’s a huge responsibility for lives on their heads. If you’re an air traffic controller, it involves national security. It involves the capability of preventing external aggression and so on and so forth.
“I believe that they are very aware of the enormous responsibility upon them in civil aviation and they should continue to see it so and continue to be as law-abiding as we want them to be.”
The minister asked the aviation unions to reconsider the planned action, adding that there is a “huge responsibility of lives on their heads.”