The management of Air Peace has disclosed it would meet with Aminu Ado Bayero, the Emir of Kano and the emirate very soon in a bid to resolve the misunderstanding between the two arising from last week’s missed flight by the emir and his entourage.
This is as the airline has said that it would not like the issue to heat up the polity, maintaining that it would continue to preach peace and unity of Nigeria.
Barr. Allen Onyema, the Chairman, Air Peace, made the statement on Monday when Independent Newspapers’ team led by Mr. Don Okere, the editor, Daily Independent, paid him a courtesy visit in his office at the Government Reserved Area (G.R.A) Ikeja, Lagos.
Independent Newspapers selected Mr. Onyema as the Businessman of the Year 2021 in its annual award slated for Saturday at Eko Hotels and Suites, Lagos.
Fielding questions from the editorial team, Onyema regretted the altercations that arose from the missed flight, but described the emir as a quiet and a peace loving man who would not encourage violence of any sort.
He also cautioned the public, especially the media, against escalating the issue, assuring that the airline would resolve the issue amicably. He said: “I don’t want to be used to heat up the polity.
I don’t want Air Peace to be a source of rancour in the country. Air Peace has always been known as an airline that was borne out of peace.
I have been a very peaceful person and I have been pursuing tenets of peace all my life and I have been pursuing peace and unity of this country selflessly right from my teenage years.
So, I cannot allow myself to be used or to be involved in anything that will tear the country apart.
And the Emir of Kano I know is a peace loving man. I have always known him as a prince when the late father was still alive.
I have paid homage to the father several times. He may not remember me, but when I bring pictures of me and his father and him also, he will realise that I have been paying homage to his father.
“I have always known him as a very quiet and unassuming person and nothing has changed.
I don’t think the emir of Kano will want to be involved in what is happening and I can tell you he is a very respectable man.
We are going to meet any day. He’s not a troublesome person and I am sure he will like to meet with me and I will also like to meet with him, too.
“There is nothing at stake, we are all one Nigeria. We don’t want people to capitalise on this to start fanning embers of disunity in the country. People should play it down; the media should play it down.
The fragile peace we have in this country should not be toyed with in any way. Air Peace will not allow itself to be a source of rancour in the country.”
Recall that Isa Bayero, the cousin of the emir, had on Saturday issued a three-day ultimatum to Air Peace to apologise for allegedly “disrespecting” the monarch.
He had earlier written a letter of complaint to the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), asking the regulatory body to take action against the airline for allegedly disrespecting the emir and the people of Kano.
He purported that the airline turned down his request to delay the Lagos-Kano scheduled flight after they were delayed in Banjul, Gambia, to Lagos.
Also, Onyema lauded President Muhammadu Buhari, Sen. Hadi Sirika, the Minister of Aviation, and Capt. Musa Nuhu, the Director-General of NCAA, for putting national interest forward during the faceoff with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) over his airline’s slots issue with the Middle East country.
He said the airline on Tuesday recommenced flight services to Dubai through the Dubai International Airport.
“Yes, we are returning to Dubai tomorrow (Tuesday). I cannot be a prouder Nigerian with what the Federal Government did as it concerns our flight operations into Dubai; Nigerians of all works of life and ethnicities were proud of the way the government stood behind Air Peace.
“The government was even ready to sacrifice the diplomatic relationship with the UAE if they didn’t do the right thing.
I thank President Muhammadu Buhari for providing that kind of leadership where every Nigerian is protected no matter where you come from and no matter who you are,” he said.