Local Airport Closed For Second Day
The local wing of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Ikeja in Lagos remained grounded on Tuesday, the second day of the petroleum subsidy strike.
The protest is led by Organised Labour and a coalition of civil society groups, to protest the Federal Government’s removal of subsidy on petrol on Jan. 1.
At 9.00 a.m., no local flight had either landed or taken-off from either the MMA2 terminal or the General Aviation Terminal (GAT).
Under normal circumstances, the departure and arrival halls of both terminals are usually filled with passengers either travelling to other parts of the country or arriving in Lagos.
Also, the usual hustling and bustling at the eateries and the bureau de change centres around the domestic terminals have been suspended since the commencement of the strike on Monday.
It was observed that the security outfit, OP-MESSA, and the airport security agencies are manning the MMA2 gates, frisking the individuals passing through the gates, while motorists had their booths their checked.
At the main entrance to the Local Wing of the airport, officials from the aviation sector unions, assisted by those from the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC), screened all visitors.
“We will ensure no flight takes off today and we are having more of our members stationed at other strategic areas within the airport to ensure this,” a unionist told NAN.
These union members also had around them some policemen, to ensure that there was no breach of the peace.
Cab operators parked their vehicles at the GAT, with no passengers to patronise them.
Alhaji Jibrin Musa, a cab operator, said that they were not ready to count their losses for now, adding that no sacrifice could be too much to ensure the success of the strike.
“If we have to do this for God knows when, to win, we shall not back out because we are all stakeholders in the Nigerian project,” he said.
All airline offices within the local wing of the airport were under lock and key, as their workers observed the strike in their various homes.
Meanwhile, the toll gates on the Lekki/Epe highways were all deserted on Tuesday with only armed policemen were seen guarding the facilities at the toll gates.
The toll gates were also not operated on Monday because– according to a resident of the area– it would have been unwise because the number of vehicles on the road were lean, and the toll collectors could have been attacked by any mob of protesters.
A huge crowd of protesters gathered for day two of the anti petrol subsidy removal on Tuesday and were moving gradually from the Mainland to the Tafawa Balewa Square (TBS) on Lagos Island.
TBS was the venue of many of the activities that marked Nigeria’s independence ceremony in 1960.
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