• Union suspends clampdown on Kenya Airways operations
Barely a week after 401 Nigerians returned from Libya, another batch of 387 have been evacuated and returned home with tales of woe.
The returnees, again courtesy of the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) and European Union’s joint efforts, were flown in by two chartered aircraft that landed in Lagos late Tuesday and early Wednesday morning.
The Guardian learnt that the first aircraft, Afriqiyah Airbus 330-300, with registration number 5A-ONR, brought in 245 persons. Among them are 66 adult females, three female children and five female infants. There were also 169 male adults, one male child and one male infant.
Barely three hours later, the second batch of 142 arrived the Cargo Wing of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA) aboard Nouvelair airline’s A320 plane with registration number TS-INA. Among them are 52 female adults, four female children and 86 male adults.
A member of the first batch already had a leg amputated. He told officials of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) that the injury was due to a bullet wound from an attempt to escape from a private prison. Having carried the bullet-injury for about three months with treatment, the affected leg had deteriorated when help finally came.
Other returnees were temporarily accommodated in hotels for the night.
In another development, the National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE) yesterday suspended its clampdown on Kenya Airways operations at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, allowing the airline to airlift passengers after 24-hour shut down.
The resumption of operations, which the union described as temporary, was due to the Intervention of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) to broker peace between Kenya Airways and leadership of NUATE.
NUATE members picketed operations of the airline on Tuesday over workers’ welfare issues. The exercise left many passengers stranded.