Chinelo Obogo, Lagos
Air Peace has said that it will soon commence flights to Ibadan from Kano, Owerri and Abuja. The chairman of the airline, Allen Onyema, said this at the 2019 edition of the University of Ibadan Alumni Association luncheon and awards, where the airline bagged the ‘Corporate Award of Excellence’.
The airline was recognised for the delivery of safe and comfortable flights within and outside the country. Delivering a lecture titled ‘Nigeria and the Rise and Rise of Ethnic Nationalism’, Onyema said that the problem with the country is its inability to live beyond the limits of ethnicity.
He said Nigeria’s multi-ethnic character is supposed to be its strength but it has become an albatross where Nigerians whip up ethnic sentiments during salient national discourses. He urged all to make a resolve to start harnessing the powers that lie in the country’s ethnic composition and leverage them for development.
On planned flight operations, Onyema revealed that as part of giving back to the University and the city of Ibadan which shaped him, Air Peace would commence flights into Ibadan from Kano, Owerri and Abuja.
“Very soon, we shall start flying Abuja-Ibadan-Abuja daily, Kano-Ibadan-Kano and Owerri-Ibadan-Owerri three times a week. This is part of our no-city-left-behind initiative and our plan to interconnect various cities of Nigeria,” he said.
Speaking during the event, the Vice Chancellor of UI, Professor Idowu Abel, described Onyema as a detribalised Nigerian who has shown strong commitment to the advancement of the country through his various humanitarian initiatives and socio-economic interventions, like the creation of massive jobs, peace missions and philanthropy.
The President of the Alumni Association, Professor Elsie Adewoye, expressed gratitude to Onyema for accepting to be part of the homecoming and serving as the guest lecturer. Adewoye said UI is proud of Onyema and implored him to keep impacting lives. She noted that the CEO was being honoured because of his historic evacuation of 503 Nigerians from South Africa during the xenophobic onslaught in that country.