BY CHARLES KUMOLU & GBENGA OKE
Concerned Aviation Professionals, a lobby group in the aviation sector, has called for a truce in the cold war between Aviation Minister, Princess Stella Oduah and the President of the Aviation Round Table, Captain Dele Ore.
The group in a statement by its President, Captain Tito Omaghomi said the face-off between the two was further compounding the crisis in the sector.
Tito a former Federal Airports Authority, FAAN, Advance Ground Instructor and pilot, made the intervention against the background of claims by Ore, a former pilot with the defunct Nigeria Airways that Oduah threatened his life during a recent telephone conversation.
Captain Ore had petitioned President Goodluck Jonathan, National Security Adviser, Col Sambo Dasuki and the Inspector General of Police over the issue which he claimed happened on 27th of July, 2012.
“We had a sigh of relief with the decision by the Minister of Aviation to remodel most of our airports across the country with the belief that investors will be encouraged to invest in Nigeria even though some sections still feel the minister did not carry them along with the ongoing remodelling of the airports.”
“In the middle of all these, Dana Air had a fatal accident on June 3, 2012 taking Nigeria back to the critical issue of air safety and recently, a prominent senior citizen of this great country who was a pilot with former Nigeria Airways Ltd, Captain Dele Ore accused the Minister of Aviation of threatening his life during a telephone conversation between these two very important personalities. Where do we go from here if we are really working towards moving the aviation industry forward?”
Continuing, he said: “this is a moment of sober reflection and there is need to embrace peace in order to move forward because we can only succeed in turning back the hand of the clock if we continue with these unpleasant controversies hanging in the air.
“Captain Dele Ore is a gentleman who means so well for the growth of the aviation industry.
“We have had some very good managers in the past but what went wrong is the big question. The increase in the number of air travellers in recent times should encourage the growth of the aviation industry yet most domestic airlines in the country are still operating under tremendous financial pressure and air travellers are not left out”.
a situation where an hour flight cost between twenty-five to forty thousand naira on a one way ticket” he maintained.
Calling on investors to explore the Nigerian economy, he said, “we are calling on investors from all over the world to take advantage of the potentials in the aviation industry like every other sector of the Nigerian economy”.