By Samson Echenim
Nigeria’s largest airline by fleet, Air Peace says it is set to begin flights into Ibadan from Abuja, Kano and Owerri.
The airline’s CEO, Allen Onyema disclosed this when he received an award from the University of Ibadan on Tuesday.
Onyema who delivered a lecture titled “Nigeria and the Rise and Rise of Ethnic Nationalism’, at the International Conference Centre, University of Ibadan, shortly after receiving his award said, “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, giving our esteemed customers more seamless connections.”
It will be recalled that just last month, the airline announced the commencement of Kano-Owerri-Kano flights.
During his lecture, Onyema explained that the bane of Nigeria as a nation remained its inability to live beyond the prisms of ethnicity.
He noted that Nigeria’s multi-ethnicity is supposed to be a strength but it has become an albatross, bemoaning how Nigerians whip up ethnic sentiments in salient national discourses, and urged all to make a resolve to start harnessing the powers that lie in Nigeria’s ethnic composition and leverage them for the development of the country.
He said: “My joy knows no bounds today. I appreciate this academia because it contributed to making me who I am today. I love my country and will continue to live a life of selflessness”.
The University’s Alumni Association specially celebrated the Air Peace boss in this year’s homecoming. Speaking, the Vice-Chancellor of UI, Professor Idowu Abel, described him as a detribalised Nigerian who has shown strong commitment to the advancement of the nation through his various humanitarian initiatives and socio-economic interventions, like the creation of massive jobs, peace missions and philanthropy.
Professor Elsie Adewoye, president of the Alumni Association, expressed gratitude to Onyema for accepting to be part of the homecoming and serving as the Guest Lecturer.
Adewoye, who acknowledged the unequalled strides of Onyema in his chosen turf, added that the institution was proud of him 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.