Our attention has been drawn to a letter of complaint written by one Isa Bayero to DG of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority(NCAA) against Air Peace and which is published in the public domain.
In the said letter, Mr. Isa Bayero alleged that Air Peace disrespected the Emir of Kano and the people of Kano for not delaying our 6.15am flight to Kano for the Emir on 24th Feb, 2022!
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 go for another one hour only for the doors to be opened and the Emir walks 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.
The request to 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 Lagos International Airport after arriving from Banjul was an impossible task.
This statement and complaint is shocking to us. We want to state the true facts herein:
From the telephone log evidence on the phone of our Chairman/CEO, Allen Onyema, Mr. Isa Bayero called our Chairman at about 5.52am, at a time he was still sleeping. From the same log, it could be seen that Isa called him again at 5.59am. This call woke him up and on seeing that it it was Isa Bayero calling, he took the call. Isa told our Chairman that he and the Emir of Kano had just landed the Murtala Mohammed International Airport Lagos from Banjul, Gambia and would be proceeding to Kano 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.
The Chairman informed 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. So the statement of the Chairman refusing flatly is untrue.
I, as the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Air Peace quickly placed a call to the local airport from where we carry on our day to day flight operations to enquire on the status of Los-Kano flight and was told that the aircraft had since finished boarding and was almost taxiing out.
I quickly called Mr. Isa Bayero with this information and I expressed our desire to put him, their entourage and the Emir of Kano on our 7.00am los- abuja flight and that on landing Abuja, we would then put him on our flight going to Kano at no cost to them. Mr. Isa Bayero refused this offer; he insisted that the already taxiing aircraft should be stopped and delayed until the Emir and the other eight persons arrive from the international airport.
At this point, as stated earlier, Isa Bayero and the Emir of Kano had just landed the international Airport, this means they would still need to go through Immigration, get their luggage and clear with customs before entering the morning Lagos traffic to get to the local airport. This would mean that the passengers already in the plane ready to depart would have to wait in the plane for nothing less than an hour.
So the call was to provide a solution that would be a win-win for both parties and to fly the entourage from Abuja to Kano still in the morning considering the next flight from Lagos to Kano was for 7pm.
How this became a disrespectful action by Air Peace baffles us.
We took this decision so as to defend the image of our highly revered Emir of Kano and not as an insult as insinuated by Isa Bayero because if passengers were delayed for an hour after boarding and ready to fly and then to see the Emir and his entourage walk in, considering the pulse of the general public lately due to the complaints of delays, it would not have done justice to the image and character of the Emir.
After explaining this to Isa Bayero, he not only behaved in a disrespectful manner but also threatened he would incite the people of Kano against the Airline if we did not stop the flight.
It is therefore to my utmost shock that we saw in the media this deliberate falsehood.
It is so unfortunate that Isa Bayero will go to this extent to portray the Chairman and Air Peace in this manner.
The Chairman of Air Peace has the highest regard for the traditional institution as it could be recalled that The Emir of Kano had previously issued a certificate of commendation to the Chairman for his philanthropic work to the people of Kano and as such holds the office of the Emir and all traditional institutions in high esteem.
We are therefore appalled that this statement would be made to incite such negativity towards the Airline.
We make bold to say that the Emir of Kano we know would have been offended to know that a flight already going was stopped and delayed for over 40 minutes for him.
The Emir would never have supported this publication. He may not have even known our offers and our reasons given to Prince Isa Bayero.
We reiterate our respects to our reve
Chief Operating Officer, Air Peace Ltd
Toyin Olajide (Mrs)