NLC, TUC Rascality On Air Peace – Labour Activism Gone Mad

10 months ago
2 mins read

As if to consolidate and to complete a track record of misguided activism, and a seeming hatchet job, the Nigeria Labour Congress and the Trade Union Congress recently beat security lines to disrupt the flight operations of the Air Peace in Lagos. The result was a loss of N700 million (seven hundred million naira) due to flight cancellations, according to the Chief Executive of Air Peace, Allen Onyema, who literally wept over the curious activities of the NLC and TUC.

The activity is capable of worsening Nigeria’s security records and detracting from the air safety records of the country, especially with regard to the hundreds of international passengers that patronize Nigeria airlines daily.

Since 2018, over 10 million passengers travel through Nigeria’s domestic and international airports yearly. In the past two years, air transport has jumped 45%, from just above 10 million to over 15 million passengers. Given how air transport security is valued all over the world, Nigeria may now be cast in the mould of air travel jesters.

READ: Hadi Sirika Spewed Lies Against Us – Air Peace Boss Onyema

The outcry by Air Peace about the air line’s feelings of insecurity can bring financial pressures to the Nigerian airline operators, which have faced severe pressures over the past five years. Nigeria remains outside the top 10 highest earning airlines in Africa, with a non-african airline, Emirates, as the highest earner. Of the $2.1 billion earned by airlines in 2021, the Emirates airline alone took in $837.6 million, while the South Africa Airways pocketed 359.6, a distant second. This is despite the sad fact that the Nigeria air passenger market is the most lucrative in Africa, yet Nigerian owned airlines do not benefit maximally from it.

What is more? Given the impunity and brazen illegality of the NLC and TUC affront on Air Peace, it was not difficult for Nigerians to sing the ethnic tune that has come to characterize every move made against the business interests of people from a section of Nigeria. Yes, it is easy to berate people for bringing ethnicity into the activities of the NUC and TUC. Yet, it remains a wonder why security officials were said to have watched while people strayed into check-in counters, even the the tarmac, and performed acts capable of putting the lives of dozens of passengers in clear danger.

As their reasons, the NLC and TUC said they were trying to stop Air Peace from taking passengers to Owerri as a result of an alleged disruption of May Day activities by Governor Hope Uzodimma of Imo State. Why only Air Peace? Why vent the anger on the airline which had transport contract with passengers, rather than with the NLC and TUC.

Mr Onyeama has duly reminded the two labour bodies of their heartlessness and misplaced aggression on a disinterested party who had expended millions of naira trying to rescue Nigerians from the war front in Sudan. Sadly, the NLC’s and TUC’s melodrama came on the same day over 280 Nigerian, hitherto stranded in war-torn Sudan, touched down in Abuja courtesy of Air Peace, which also displayed such rare courage and patriotism when Russian invaded Ukraine in 2022.

It is noteworthy that serial fuel price increases, warnings about threats to the democratic process, the badly managed naira redesign project, Covid-19 palliative bedlam, and rocket inflation figures were areas where deprived Nigerians expected the NLC and the TUC to act. But, shamefully, and inexplicably, they all chose to issue only threats, and nothing more.

Granted that ethnicity and political exclusion have persisted since Nigeria’s return to democracy in 1999, they have been the root causes of the majority of the social, economic and political problems that have blighted Nigeria’s march to development. Therefore, the latest show of shame by the NLC and TUC should be condemned in the strongest terms as Nigeria braces for a new government waiting to continue resolving many socio-economic nooses threatening to choke the country.

Dr Mbamalu is a veteran journalist, Editor and Publisher


Dr. Marcel Mbamalu is a communication scholar, journalist and entrepreneur. He holds a Ph.D in Mass Communication from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka and is the Chief Executive Officer Newstide Publications, the publishers of Prime Business Africa.

A seasoned journalist, he horned his journalism skills at The Guardian Newspaper, rising to the position of News Editor at the flagship of the Nigerian press. He has garnered multidisciplinary experience in marketing communication, public relations and media research, helping clients to deliver bespoke campaigns within Nigeria and across Africa.

He has built an expansive network in the media and has served as a media trainer for World Health Organisation (WHO) at various times in Northeast Nigeria. He has attended numerous media trainings, including the Bloomberg Financial Journalism Training and Reuters/AfDB training on Effective Coverage of Infrastructural Development of Africa.

A versatile media expert, he won the Jefferson Fellowship in 2023 as the sole Africa representative on the program. Dr Mbamalu was part of a global media team that covered the 2020 United State’s Presidential election. As Africa's sole representative in the 2023 Jefferson Fellowships, Dr Mbamalu was selected to tour the United States and Asia (Japan and Hong Kong) as part of a 12-man global team of journalists on a travel grant to report on inclusion, income gaps and migration issues between the US and Asia.


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