Dana plane crash site
Chinedu Eze and Martha Momoh
President of the Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association (ATSSSAN), Benjamin Okewu, has said that the workers of the aviation industry have expressed their disagreement with the position of the National Assembly.
The Assembly was credited to have directed that the Director-General of the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Dr. Harold Demuren, should step aside, while the cause of the Dana plane crash is investigated.
Okewu said that such decision is pre-emptive and tended to hold the regulatory body culpable even before the cause of the crash was investigated.
He said that everything that is done in aviation is regulated and even accident investigation follows defined procedures, adding that by asking the Director General to step aside, the National Assembly is already interfering in the course of investigation.
Okewu said that the lawmakers should allow the Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) to carry out its statutory responsibility and come out with comprehensive report on the cause of the accident before taking decisions on the tragic accident that killed 153 passengers.
Similarly, members of the National Union of Air Transport Employee (NUATE) have condemned the call by members of the National Assembly to sack aviation parastatal chiefs as a result of the Dana plane crash.
Speaking to Aviation Correspondents in his office, the Acting General Secretary of NUATE, Abdulkareem Motajo dismissed the call, saying it was unnecessary and uncalled for. He blamed the various aviation committees for not performing their oversight functions in the sector.
According to him, the members were busy chasing shadows and have taken a wrong step into the investigation with a call to sack agencies chiefs, adding that it was unacceptable in a highly technical industry like aviation.
Motajo advised that investigation into the crash should be left in the hands of the professionals, while all necessary logistics should be provided for them to aid their assignment.
He noted that setting up another Investigative Committee by the NASS would jeopardise the real investigation by the agency.
“Why are they sacking aviation parastatal chiefs, have they been indicted by any
report? It is unlawful in labour law to terminate appointment without any cause. They should wait and see to the end of the investigation before passing any judgment and no other committee apart from the agency charged with the responsibility of investigation will do a thorough work” Motajo remarked.
He said it is only better to wait for the outcome of the investigation when anyone found to have comprised can be punished. Comrade Motajo advised the Aviation Committees in the National Assembly to be abreast with happenings in the sector, adding that some airlines were owing various agencies billions of Naria and should be made to pay their debts.