In 1995, as a young student of Kogi State Polytechnic, Lokoja, myself with other liked mind students championed and established a none existence Student Union organs in the school where I became the pioneer President of National Association of Statistics Student (NASS) of the school. It was indeed very challenging. As expected, the school authority tagged us as stubborn students. I particularly had a running battle with my departmental lecturer Mr. Mumuni Sumaila (My Ebira brother and a very talented statistician).
The table however turned in 2007 as we met at gate 1 of this airport. Himself now a staff of NCAA proudly introduced me to his Inspector colleagues as his student. In 2001, while at FAAN Training school Lagos on Induction course, Comrade AKewushola Adisa (now my HOD) with one other comrade that I cannot remember the name, came to the camp with ATSSSAN and NUATE forms, and introduced us to unionism in FAAN.
Of course, I gladly joined NUATE and that was how the struggle started in FAAN. Coming to Abuja after six months training in Lagos, my loyalty and dedication to this great union knows no boundary.
In 2008, I lost a contest to become *CHAIRMAN* of NUATE here to a more vibrant and experienced Com. Chris Omagbemi. No wonder he is today 3rd National Vice President.
I never saw the contest as a personal one, rather, a struggle to contribute my own quota to the yearning of workers. Right there during the swearing-in of elected executives, I declared my support to them. This was noticed and in a very short period, I was made ex-official. Upon resignation of Com. Godwin Okpene from FAAN, the executive unanimously agreed that I assumed his position as treasurer. The post I held before my transfer to MMA in 2013.
My greatest weakness is “I don’t know how to keep quiet when I noticed something going wrong”.
During the closure of airport in 2010 over our agitation for #18,000 minimum wage, I led other comrades for the lock of old domestic terminal. I had a exchange of word with the then Director of Operations Mr. George Uriesi when he sort the be opened for some passengers from presidency. We stood our ground and of course, he retreated. Pastor Chris Bature (then RGM) passed a wrong judgement when we had an issue with MAC office in 2012.
He humbled himself by apologising in the presence of his management staff when I corrected him. I never shied away to confront my former HOD Mr. Efobi when necessary. Also, my former HOD at MMA, Col. Carl Onalo (rtd) during a general meeting with staff passed a wrong judgement. Though I was his admin staff, remember my weakness? That brought the meeting to an abrupt end. Most staff thought I had entered into his black book. Ironically, the appreciated my boldness and sent #10,000 through one PSO Chinedu to me minutes after.
I rejected the money, but my HOU Mr. Adewunmi intervened that it will further insult on the HOD. He therefore shared the money and I got #1000.
It is on record that at 2013 National Convention of our Union at Ibro Hotels Abuja, my active participation was not in doubt as it was me who moved motion for the dissolution of the then national executives.
When Maevis held FAAN to ransom, myself, Com. Chris and Com. Okpene were part of the delegate led by then ATSSSAN national president Com. Benjamin in company of FAAN MD Mr. Richard and NCAA DG Mr. Demoren who met with Ministers of Justice, Aviation and Labour. Decision taken at that meeting was what helped in sending Maevis parking.
While in Lagos between 2013/14, I was actively involved in NUATE activities with the present national president, retired com. Celestine Iwu, late com. Jude Ungbous amongst others.
It is a known fact that FAAN is in the “A list” of organizations in the country. But how far about the implementation of our conditions of service. To even sign the drafted one now has become WAHALA.
We provide security for ourselves in the staff quarters. Do I hear you say hmmmmmm. Remember my weakness? We will not keep quiet.
It pains me however that some people are running the present campaign to occupy offices base on religion. HABA! When we say “an injury to one is an injury to all”, that is the true language of struggle.
For crying out loud, I am a Christian, but my biological mother (I mean the woman that carried me for 9 months in her belly) is a devout Muslim. And my prayer is to see her perform the last pillar of Islam (Hajj) in my life time.
I appeal to those involved if truly they are running *COMRADES* to please stop it. *Not because of me, but not to lay a foundation of division that be difficult to settle by those that will come after us.*
I give kudos to the present executive for carrying the flag so high.
I offered myself to contest the post of *FAAN NUATE CHAIRMAN* come 10/01/2019 not because I am selfish but because of my above *” WEAKNESS ”
ALUTA CONTINUA, VICTORIA ASCERTA.
Comrade Otori Sunday Ozomata is a frontline chairmanship candidate in the forthcoming FAAN NUATE elections.