By Jude Chinedu, Enugu
Members of the National Union of Air Transport Employees, NUATE, Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN, Enugu branch, over the weekend protested what they termed as an imposition of executives on the union.
The aggrieved members, who accused the Enugu state chairman, Comrade Isaac Enyili, of irregularities, stated that NUATE, Enugu, has no elected executives for now.
The protesters chanted songs and displayed placards that read thus: “Members of NUATE FAAN, Enugu, say no to leadership without election,” “NUATE FAAN in Enugu has no elected executives,” “Isaac Enyili led executive of NUATE is a fraud,” “National president, Comrade Ben, we seek your urgent intervention, we are oppose to imposition of leaders and we say no to self imposed leadership in NUATE FAAN Enugu,” among many other inscriptions.
Addressing the crowd, the leader of the group, Comrade Chijioke Onyike, who expressed sadness over the development, said, “It is highly reprehensible for someone, who calls himself a chairman of a union to submit names of executives, who are not elected by voting or voice of the group to national body of the union for recognition.
“The main purpose of this protest is to let the world hear the voice of NUATE FAAN members here at Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu, regarding the imminent rape of our collective resolve as a union by a few fraudulent members of our union, who are presently perfecting plans to foist themselves upon us as leaders by deceit and illegalities”, he said.
Comrade Onyike, who is also the secretary of the union, lamented the short notice given to them to prepare for the election as well as money they paid for form, stating that the former chairman, Enyili, by so doing, disenfranchised members from participating in the process.
“Our own branch, NUATE FAAN, Enugu branch, after receiving national memo to conduct election in November, agitated for the release of election time table, but the immediate past chairman, Comrade Enyili, refused to release it. He later released the memo for election on 3rd of December, 2018, and forced members to purchase form with N5,000 and to come for election on 7th.
“Those who couldn’t purchase the form because they were off duty and the ill timing of the whole process went to him and complained but he refused to issue them form. Members, on the 7th of December, congregated at the venue for a general meeting before the election. Members expressed displeasure about the election process and agreed that election will not hold.
“Subsequently, members requested for rescheduled date but Comrade Enyili couldn’t come up with date but went ahead and forwarded the list of his cronies as those who were elected, while there was no election and no presence of any national officer to monitor the election as required”, he said.
Comrade Onyike, who disclosed that they sent a letter to national secretariat for immediate intervention, urged the national chairman and other national officers to come and investigate the matter without further delay to ensure that election is conducted to elect officers for NUATE FAAN, Enugu branch.
When contacted over the issue, the former chairman, Enyili, said, “I don’t know anything about imposition of executives. Those protesting are not our members,” he said.