Nigeria Labour Congress has condemned the grounding of the helicopter billed to convey the Governor of Edo State, Adams Oshiomhole, to Anambra State, last Saturday, by the aviation authorities in Benin.
It said federal institutions were all too often willing tools in the hands of vindictive politicians or appointees out to settle scores.
“The first victim was the Governor of Rivers State, Mr Chibuike Amaechi, whose plane still remains grounded in order to teach him a lesson for insisting on and indeed contesting for the chairmanship of Nigeria’s Governors Forum,” a statement by the NLC President, AbdulWaheed Omar, said.
The NLC president said the congress was dismayed by the reprehensible style’s of dealing with governors with dissenting views.
Omar said, “We find these tactics crude, cheap and barbaric, and a throw-back to the days of military dictatorship which we are better off without. We find it amazing that pilots of considerable experience with hundreds of flying hours in Nigeria will suddenly be bereft of elementary rules governing flight operations.
“And supposing they had been operating in ignorance or in breach of extant regulations, we are yet to see the sanctions meted out to those institutions or individuals that aided or abetted their conduct.”
He expressed concern over what he described as the growing sensitivity of the Presidency to criticism and the penchant to treat every thought, opinion or action that does not conform as a treasonable offence.
Omar said, “May we remind the Presidency and its army of aides, sidekicks and others in the service, that democracy thrives on time-honoured principles of freedom of speech and association and accountability; and not on impunity or brutality.”