By Lawani Mikairu
Aviation experts have expressed surprise that the deployment of the Director of Human Resources in the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN, Hajia Salamatu Umar Elumah to the Accident Investigation Bureau, AIB, by the Minister of State, Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika in the recent reorganisation in the aviation industry, could generate controversy.
Elumah who was posted to AIB as part of the reorganisation in the aviation industry has resisted the posting and petitioned the Presidency and rather than move to her new office chose to go on leave without pay. She alleged that she was being victimized by the Minister who” allegedly singled her out for denigration”.
Many of the aviation stakeholders who spoke on the controversy were surprised that “ Mrs. Elumah could question and resist a normal deployment in the civil service and defied the Minister’s directive, employing all kinds of tactics to rubbish her deployment”.
An official of Air Transport Service Senior Staff Association, ATSSSAN, who does not want to be named, said the association was disappointed with Mrs. Elumah’s protest against her deployment, saying that it was normal process, which predates her coming to FAAN.
According to the official, “She should follow the civil service rules or resign. This is not the first time that people were deployed. Even in the past she played roles in the sack and deployment of some staff and heaven did not fall”.
“Mrs. Elumah has thrown her weight so much and she needs to be cut to size. If she is allowed to have her way now a bad precedence will be laid which in future will be deterrent to the industry.”
Another industry officials noted that similar reorganisation has just taken place in the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and nobody is questioning government’s decision. An official of FAAN who spoke also on condition of anonymity, said : “Despite her connections and powers, she should simply obey civil service rules because she cannot rewrite a system that has been there over the years, which she also benefited from.”
Sources from the Minister of State, Aviation , Senator Sirika said that for the very first time in the industry the unions did not kick against the recent reorganisation in the industry because the Minister did the right thing by promoting those who needed to be promoted and who had put in years working for the agencies, “So it is round pegs that were put in the right holes.
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