Saturday, February 26, 2022

We only protected Kano Emir’s image, not disrespect him, says Air Peace 

The management of Air Peace has denied the claims that the airline disrespected the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Aminu Ado Bayero.

A statement signed by the airline’s Chief Operating Officer, Toyin Olajide, said the company protected the emir’s image by delaying a flight which he was meant to be on.

The statement was a response to a complaint written by one of the Emir’s cousins, Prince Isa Bayero.

In the complaint, Prince Bayero had demanded punitive measures from the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority against Air Peace over what he termed as “disrespect” to the Emir and people of Kano.
The Emir’s cousin reportedly called the Chairman of Air Peace, Allen Onyema, to delay the airline’s morning flight to Kano because a flight from Banjul, the Gambia, which the Emir was on, was delayed preventing them from arriving at the airport on time.

In the statement, Olajide expressed shock over what she called a deliberate falsehood against the airline while insisting that Air Peace held the Emir in the highest regards.

She said, “Rather than disrespect the revered Emir of Kano, Air Peace did everything to protect the name and image of the Emir from ridicule by not succumbing to what Isa Bayero wanted us to do.

“If we had agreed to stop and delay an aircraft, already set to take-off, for another one hour only for the doors to be opened and the Emir to walk in, there would have been a very serious uproar in the media nationwide against both the airline and the Emir. This we pleaded with Isa Bayero to understand but he refused to accept.

“How could Isa Bayero want the Management of Air Peace to stop and delay a fully boarded plane with doors already shut and aircraft already moving while our respected Emir and eight others in his entourage, including Isa Bayero, were still at the international wing of the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos after arriving from Banjul?”

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Olajide revealed that the Emir’s cousin placed a phone call to the Air Peace Chairman at about 5:52am, when he was still sleeping, and called again at 5:59am which woke him up.

She added that Onyema called her as the COO, after his call with Bayero, to find out the status of the morning’s flight, noting the Chairman’s willingness to help.
“On seeing that it was Isa Bayero calling, he took the call. Isa told our Chairman that he and the Emir of Kano had just landed at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport Lagos from Banjul, Gambia and would be proceeding to Kano the same morning.

“He told the Chairman to delay our first flight of the day, the 6:15am Lagos-Kano flight for him and the Emir with another eight persons. It was not true that our Chairman refused flatly. He rather told Mr Isa Bayero to give him a few minutes to call the airport to find out the status of the flight. I was the one he called. To show his desire to help, he called me immediately and intimated me with the request.
“I am the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Air Peace. I quickly called the local airport from where we carry on our day to day domestic flight operations and was told that the aircraft had since finished boarding and was almost taxiing out,” Olajide added.


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