DISPATCHER: AVIATION OF POLITICS

The business of flying is principally about safety. Take me from here to there in safety. You may not want to blame those who for fear of any form of danger, will not go in the air, even very prominent citizens, sports men and women, young and old. Air journey by is the only journey means that the conveying capsule cannot be externally attended to, be there any outside fault en-route its journey. It is thus very pertinent that the vessel should be certified able to commute the journey safely before departure.

 On the other hand, practical politics is the dexterity of an individual manipulating the system, playing on the intelligence of an operative system to accomplish his/her own covert desires. In most cases, these desires are so passionately pursued over time, the scheming are covered until the time of attainment that the original purpose in the first case, is now let out. Don’t get it wrong, this purpose could be good as well as bad, the point is the passion and scheme with which it is pursued. Politics is basically governance, no matter the level, platform or scope.

 By default, Nigerian governance is designed with a disregard for merit and that for whatever reason. Federal character. Anyone can judge so far, what outweighs what, merit or Federal character. So, in a way, the idea of tribal favouritism for one to be nativity-biased, politically base, family status and so on is nearly officially implied in the policy of the day. If we are sincerely on the same page in this, then we should also be in agreement that merit is majorly at the back burner in this concept. Positions are allotted more in consonance with the other than merit whereas the products are “supposed” to be for the benefit of all. If aviation is basically a safety issue and there is politics in this very sensitive capital intensive, lives depending industry, then are we saying there is politics in safety. To me, that sounds very                                                              frightening. It has a roller coaster effect. You favour me on the ground of “this”, it is pertinent I favour another from the same cell the same way. Successive wrongs. “Blind leading the blind”. Transported into aviation where preference is for professionalism, what will be the resultant effect?

 Nativity operates a lot in this country. If an opportunity is thrown at you and you fail to grab it, who do you blame? Opportunity for all round development had been long since thrown to all Nigerians, however we used it is the result of where we are now regionally. One thing is that, a single opportune person can derail the good of the whole nation, not just his/her cell, in whatever the opportunity extended to him. I happen to have an insight into the Nigeria Airways of old, especially in the military rulership. The military, as the cell, would put people of limited knowledge and related proven proficiency in positions of overseeing a very technically sensitive organization. Of course, such person would administer it the only way he/she came by, the military way, other than the fact that he/she still had to report to the “top” even if that would not have been the best choice available in the nation. This happens more on the nativity case. The one we call “tribalism”. In fact, it came to the point where allocation of positions was on the “settlement” syndrome- “for your people”. Since it is viewed as for my people,” for my people” becomes primary, every other thing is secondary. This is not only in government circles but also evident in private entities. It is not even strange for businesses to be established on the ground of “service to my people”. You now, not “my people”, will only still remain there until one barest of “my people” runs along. Somebody once told me, “A” has a licence, “B” now has the same, licence is licence, so we use “B” now,in this very safety sensitive enclave. No consideration for merit.

This breeds corruption. Corruption is not only in the pursuit of “wrong” monies. Whenever something and, anywhere, is done without transparency and conformance with the rule of law for the best of the overall purpose, that is corruption. Even in communication, bad communication corrupts. It is only a matter of time; your deep intention will play out. Why “must I hold this position, why must I be in this cell, why must I plant this/these person(s) in this/these position(s), why, why and more whys”. Only you know the answer and you will do everything to shroud this intention from the observing and waiting unsuspecting eyes outside.

 An industry this sensitive to safety and lives would be expected to scout for the best in every aspect of functioning to meet a good level of assurance of safe transportation.

 Nationally, government, private entities and all, politics had crept into aviation management, so also, compromise crept in. The end result is always unfavourable.

 One thing that is not changing is that aviation draws its tenets from universal regulations. Thanks to ICAO. This makes execution very workable. You are not expected to base your actions on just your initiatives. The procedures to results have been laid out in the regulations. If it were not that ICAO made these regulations mandatory, some entities would have localized their own well below ICAO stipulated minimum standards to suit their individual egos, that is, they would define safety in their own standards. Even at the availability of the regulations, establishments still attempt to undercut standards in favour of over bloated profits, rivalry and so on. Sharp or smart practices may hold sway for a time, as one begins to get used to it, it eventually spells out doom for the entity and great will be the fall.

 It is said, “you use one lie to cover another” so that now makes two lies and then four at the next level and so on. At a particular level, it becomes too heavy it can no longer hold, it falls apart.