Akin Akande, Abuja
As reactions continue to trail the alleged purchase of N225 million cars by Minister of Aviation, Stella Oduah, the National President of National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers (NAAPE), Balami David, has condemned the action of the minister, saying it has further exposed the country to scorn from the international community.
David said besides the endemic corruption which the scam has exposed, it should not divert stakeholders attention from key development issues in the aviation sector that ought to be the focus of stakeholders in order to check the spate of air-mishaps, rather than the Oduah’s case.
The controversial minister has been under fire since the crash of an Associated Airline place in Lagos, in which 13 people died, with many insisting that she is incompetent for the job and ought to be sacked.
“Her action is unfortunate and I want to urge the relevant anti graft agencies to investigate so as to punish offenders to serve as deterrent,” he said this in an interview in Abuja on Tuesday.
“But what is happening concerning the cars scandal by the Minister of Aviation is not what we should be talking about right now, we should be talking about issues, challenges that are confronting the sector,” he added.
His words: “I said so because there are more serious things happening in other sectors, even as I am not against exposing evil, the media should also focus on building the image of the country in the comity of nations, not by reporting only negative stories.
“The international community today would be laughing at us. Because am sure there is no country that there is no corruption in the world, but they are handling their issues themselves”.
He attributed some of the challenges confronting the aviation sector to the inability of some airline companies to allow their workers to unionise unconditionally.
“Airlines that refused unionisation of their staff definitely have something to hide, if not so, our union exist to ensure adherence to professionalism and keeping to ethical standards,” he said.
“There are also other factors which we should look at, which are responsible for the misfortune in the sector, though we are doing that right now, in the next few days stakeholders involving elders in the aviation industry would be meeting to discuss,” he added.