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Police sack ex-Airways staffers from quarters

Posted by By UCHE USIM on 2005/08/17 | Views: 308 |

Police sack ex-Airways staffers from quarters


Despite failure to settle the backlog of salaries, gratuities and other emoluments owed the pensioners and ex-workers of the liquidated Nigerian Airways Limited (NAL), the liquidator, last Thursday, deployed policemen to forcefully evict them from their N0 1, Femi Fani-Kayode Street, Ikeja GRA, quarters.

Despite failure to settle the backlog of salaries, gratuities and other emoluments owed the pensioners and ex-workers of the liquidated Nigerian Airways Limited (NAL), the liquidator, last Thursday, deployed policemen to forcefully evict them from their N0 1, Femi Fani-Kayode Street, Ikeja GRA, quarters.

It was indeed a shocker. None of the residents expected such a harsh action that drove fear and tension down their spines. The few people that were around were taken unawares as they were given only 20 minutes to move out or face unpalatable consequences.

The unlucky residents that had gone out in search of their daily bread came home to meet their apartments under lock and key, with armed men keeping watch.

All pleas for leniency fell on deaf ears as the policemen were acting on the orders of the liquidator. People who earlier enjoyed the comfort of their homes now have to make do with mats.
When Daily Sun got to the scene, a nursing mother with a seven-week-old baby, Mrs. Dorothy Oyelade was a pitiful sight. Herself and the household have been sleeping outside on mats provided by benevolent neighbours. The General Manager of Skypower Aviation Handling Company (SAHCOL), Mr Olaolu Owolabi was not spared from the humiliation. Captain Michael Okiwelu, a former senior pilot with NAL and spokesman of the residents suffered the same fate as others.
They have all expressed readiness to leave the premises once their entitlements are paid.

Below are their comments.
Mrs Dorothy Oyelade
I was just in my house at about 2:30pm with my little baby when policemen, over 40 of them drove in here. I was terribly shocked as I never expected them. My mouth was completely shut as I couldn’t talk. The next thing I heard: ‘Madam, we give you 20 minutes to pack your things and leave this apartment.’ As I was still trying to recoil from the shock, another barked again; ‘are you deaf? Or do you want us to carry you people out ourselves?’ I cried and appealed to them at least to consider the plight of my new baby, but to no avail. My baby is one month and three weeks old. The other baby in the next building in only two weeks old. We all slept outside in the cold and it was people from outside that gave us food. Can you imagine that kind of wickedness? They said they were carrying out orders from above.

What sort of wicked orders are they talking about? These are people that worked for the government airline and now being sacked from their homes by the same government without settling our entitlements. I mean in liquidation, you settle labour issues..

Mr Ayo Aremo
What has happened now is total injustice. You are driving us out without paying our full entitlements. Why? It’s unfair. In January, the liquidator said he wanted to pay us our entitlements. They paid about half of us our salary arrears. Later, those of us who were not paid and those living in GRA were asked to write an undertaking. The other people who were paid were not asked to write any undertaking. So, why us? Nobody wants to die here in NAL quarters. Let them just pay us our money and let us go. Why are they punishing us unduly? Most of us spent our youthful days in NAL and see how they are treating us. We have done every legitimate thing we should do to get our entitlements but to no avail. Most of our people had died in the past while waiting for this money.
That was the same way they drove us out from the NAL building last year. Why are we being treated this way?

Capt Michael Okiwelu
This is absurd. I was a senior pilot with NAL when it was flying.
At the pronouncement of the liquidation of NAL, the liquidator was appointed by the court. We tried to establish a working relationship between the unions and the liquidator. But he (the liquidator) was not ready for that. Let me not go to far into the legal issue.

Back to the issue at hand, some of us have not been paid our full gratuity. Only 19 per cent has been paid. We’re being owed arrears of salaries and pensions. If it’s true liquidation process, there are procedures. You need to settle labour issues in full. We’re now asking for arrears of salaries or pensions, our gratuity and severance benefits. That was why we went to court in the first place. We’re not opposing the liquidation process. No, no. We just want to be paid our entitlements in full.




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Comments (3)

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Okfold(Sobe, Edo, Nigeria)says...

I want the meaning of female owan name Ekeke (Edo state)

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Toluwalase Samuel Olufemi(Ijebu, Ogun, Nigeria)says...

Authority belongs to God, once He decrees it is final and binding

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Ikponmwosa Osamede(Edo, Nigeria)says...

Your meaning of Osamede is wrong. Osamede means God has given me a crown