Viewpoint

May 19, 2024

ALLEN ONYEAMA:  The unappreciated Nigerian?

We’re ready for Abuja-London route; Houston, New York in works — Onyema

Allen Onyeama

By Kenny D. Okotie

Very unfortunately, Nigeria is not working as it would have been expected to work. This could be largely attributed to the self-inflicted anomalies upon us by ourselves. And it can only happen in a country where there’s no genuine love for one another, where one is not his brother’s keeper and, most imperatively, where the vices of ethnicity and religiosity have crawled into our ever present lexicon.

Be that as it may, Nigeria is estimated to have a population of over 200 million people with about 34 million hectares of arable land. And there’s nowhere in the country you won’t find lush vegetation and forestation. God, in His infinite mercies, has blessed our dearly beloved country with all the accoutrements it requires to excel in the comity of nations. It was Selwyn Duke who postulated: “The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it would hate those who speak it.” We have inevitably drifted from the truth, close to 98% of Nigerians of this dispensation are not honest.

Today, because of the unprecedented hardship staring at us in the face, we have so many destitute and despondent citizens. Even, if the government of the day at any given level falters, can’t we empathise with each other to render help where possible, after all, you that is building mansions and saving money for your siblings, I solemnly ask this pertinent question: How much would you take to either heaven or hell when you die? Absolutely nothing! Presently, the foundation of this country is severely and obnoxiously faulty.

Therefore, what is this foundation? The foundation is the basis or groundwork of anything. It is the moral base of both religion and society. Any structure built on a faulty foundation would collapse eventually. More so, the foundation of any given society or organization or nation are values, people, ethics and culture etc on which it is built. A nation whose foundation is faulty would operate in severe wickedness, violence, bad leadership at all levels of government, idolatry, occultism and Yahoo-Yahoo as practiced by many of our youths. Amid the challenges confronting us as a people, a few of the more than 200 million Nigerians have been advocating and advancing the prime doctrine of PEACE, ONENESS, UNITY AND TOGETHERNESS.

That son-of-the-soil who government is neglecting and treating with levity is ALLEN ONYEAMA, the Airpeace Chief Executive Officer, a patriot who, despite numerous setbacks, trudges on and on. I recall with nostalgia during the unfortunate era of xenophobic attacks, when South Africans were killing and maiming Nigerians resident in their country, the Airpeace boss, out of dedication to this country, evacuated willing Nigerians back home. When Onyeama boarded the plane, in unison, they were all singing Nigeria’s National Anthem irrespective of where they are from.

This singular act speaks volumes about our dearly beloved country. Another notable feat of Allen Oyeama happened during the unforgettable COVID period. When other foreign airlines were preoccupied evacuating their citizens from all over the world, it was Onyeama that inevitably came to our rescue since Nigeria doesn’t have a national career. Thus, Onyeama brought back our stranded citizens home.

Only recently, when FX crisis escalated and foreign airlines were charging exorbitant fees in the economy and business class in their London route, Airpeace reduced its prices and their fares were reduced. Recall that in 2019, Airpeace flew its inaugural flight to Dubai, the United Arab Emirate (UAE), to commence services to the Middle East. Earlier in that year, the airline had required four B777 Airplanes for its long haul flights. Onyeama, no doubt, is a patriotic personage who has shown discernable traits of love for his country.

As President Bola Ahmed Tinubu once said in far away India that Nigerians should change their mindsets, there has to be a revolution of the mind. Because we have not managed our diversity to the fullest index, we have no business with ETHNIC BIGOTRY. There are over 350 ethnic groups in this country and no ethnic group is more important than the other in a plural society such as ours. Thus, a modern state is all about managing diversities. The Airpeace boss has done tremendously well for himself and country. Suffice to say that Allen Onyeama is a product of the prestigious Government College, Ughelli, Delta State where the values of self-discipline and love for country are inculcated as necessary virtues.

Okotie is the Chief Librarian of Vanguard