AIR Peace has remained silent on its next line of action two days after an official of the Kano Emirate gave it a three-day ultimatum to appease the Emir of Kano, Aminu Ado Bayero over a flight incident.
Isa Bayero, a cousin of Aminu Ado Bayero, the Emir of Kano, had on Saturday, February 26, 2022 demanded an apology from Air Peace within three days for allegedly “disrespecting the Emir.”
The ICIR had sought to know from Air Peace its next move on the ultimatum two days after, but the airline would not respond to calls and texts our reporter made to its spokesperson, Stanley Olisa.
Isa Bayero had written a petition to the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) to sanction the carrier, alleging it delayed the Emir’s Banjul to Lagos flight by over one hour, and then refused to allow the entourage of the royal father to board its connecting flight to Kano.
Bayero’s argument was that the Emir and his entourage were in Lagos 30 minutes before the 6.15am Lagos-Kano flight and saw no reason why they could not board the flight alongside passengers already on the plane.
“We, 10 of us – His Highness Alhaji Aminu Ado Bayero, Sarkin Kano and four other business class passengers, with additional other five economy class passengers – all boarded our return Air Peace flight No. P47776 from Banjul to Lagos.
“Our departure from Banjul was scheduled for 00.10hrs (local time) on 24th February, 2022. However, we departed Banjul at 01.19hrs and we landed at Lagos at 5.45am. Our connecting flight to Kano on the same Air Peace airline was for 6.15 hrs. This gave us only 30 minutes to make our flight to Kano,” the petition read in part.
He said he personally called the Chairman of Air Peace, Allen Onyeama, to inform him of the precarious situation and requested him to assist by delaying its departing flight to Kano as a mark of respect to the Emir of Kano.
“He flatly refused and avowed that he will not do that. I personally took this as an insult and a flagrant show of disrespect to his highness and the Kano people at large,” he narrated.
Air Peace, in its response to the petition, said it could not keep a 6.15am flight to Kano for the Emir because passengers had been complaining of flight delays and poor services generally.
The statement issued on Friday, February, by the airline’s Chief Operating Officer, Mrs Toyin Olajide, accused the Prince of circulating “falsehood.”
It read, “If the Airline had agreed to halt and delay an aircraft already set to go – for another one hour – only for the door to be opened and the Emir and his entourage 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 halt and delay a fully boarded aircraft with doors shut and aircraft already moving, while our respected Emir and eight others in his entourage, including Isa Bayero, were still at the Lagos International Airport after just arriving from Banjul, the Gambia? When I reported this statement to the Chairman, he did not believe me and insinuated that I might not have heard him rightly, because Isa Bayero was well acquainted with him and could not have said such.
“It is, therefore, to my utmost shock that we saw in the media this deliberate falsehood.”
Bayero, who vowed to stick by his ill-treatment claim, demanded a public apology from the airline in the media.
He said, “For delaying us from Banjul, which caused our arriving late to Lagos, Air Peace has the moral duty to accommodate or take care of us. Unfortunately, there was no option or offer to ease our situation, only for us to be left stranded.
“It was pure falsehood for Air Peace to make that statement that they provided an alternative flight to Abuja for the emir. For that claim, I was the one that asked for the Abuja flight and they said it was fully booked.
“The Abuja flight was fully booked and if their aircraft to Abuja is full already, how do we get to Abuja? Now, let’s assume they had taken us to Abuja, how are we sure the Kano flight was available from Abuja?
“I am giving an ultimatum of 72 hours for Air Peace to tender an apology to the emir, first in a national daily and secondly to come down in person to the emir. We would not hesitate to go the extra mile to correct the ‘misnormal’.
“The action of Air Peace is sentimental and unprofessional and we can go any length to defend and protect any act of insensitivity against our prestigious traditional institution.
“That insult is not heaped on the emir alone but on the good people of Kano, and folding our hands on this could trigger something worse and more ridiculous.”
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