The Federal Government has condemned the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) protest, which grounded activities at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja on Thursday.
The Labour bodies had on Thursday morning blocked the entry and exit points of the airport, owing to its faceoff with the Imo State government after the President of the NLC, Joe Ajaero, was brutalized in Owerri, the state capital, last week.
The protest grounded activities at the airport, forcing travellers to make their way to the airport on foot.
Speaking on an aviation retreat in Warri, Delta State, on Thursday, Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, Mr Festus Keyamo, faulted the move by NLC and TUC, questioning why the unions should target the aviation sector.
He said: “Aviation was not involved at all. Nothing about aviation but their target is aviation; their retaliation is aviation. So, please I want to beg them: ‘Leave us alone’. Leave aviation alone. You cannot target aviation in trying to address your grievances.
“You cannot target a nation in trying to address your grievances. In targeting aviation like the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Aviation, it is a global village. It affects foreigners coming into Nigeria, and It affects ordinary Nigerians going about their normal businesses.
“As of yesterday, we were battling with the fact that they said for only flights for Imo that they would disrupt. But this morning, they blocked the access roads to the Abuja airport. They are disrupting the entire country.”
The minister further called on the protesting unionists to sheathe their swords in the interest of the nation.