Nationwide strike grounds international flights, passengers stranded

THE nationwide strike embarked upon by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) over fuel subsidy removal yesterday took a toll on air travel as there were no flights in and out of the country.

Labour leaders made good their threat as they stopped foreign airlines from taking off in all the nation’s airports.

At the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, foreign airlines like British Airways, Virgin Atlantic Airways, Emirates, Arik Air, Ethiopian, Air France and KLM were prevented by  labour leaders from checking in passengers for flights outside the country.

When The Guardian visited the airport yesterday, passengers who had wanted to travel outside the country were stranded. The in-house unions: Air Transport Senior Staff Services Association of Nigeria (ATSSAN); National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE) and the National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers (NAAPE) barricaded the entry point into the airport.

At the General Aviation Terminal, Lagos, the Nigerian Air Force and other security operatives attached to the airport took over the security of the terminal.

Also, at the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Two, the complex was still under lock and key as stern looking security officers manned the entry and exit gates.

Also, the Port Harcourt International Airport,  was closed as information revealed that some of the protesters were playing football on the runway of the airport.

At the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja , unions took over activities at the airport and prevented both local and international airlines from taking off and landing at the airport.

Speaking to The Guardian on the shutdown of international flights, National President of ATSSSAN, Benjamin Okewu said the situation would remain the same until “government finds it sensible to revert to the former price of petrol”.

-Nigeria Breaking News


By Wole Shadare

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