In the wake of xenophobic attacks in South Africa, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Air Peace Airline, Allen Onyema, has explained that because he wants to see Nigeria respected as a nation, he decided to help airlift endangered citizens in the Southern African country.
Concise News reports that Onyema told Channels Television on Tuesday that there was no personal motive in extending a helping hand as the gesture was only for the good of the Nigerian People.
“The motivation here is the fact that I want to see Nigeria respected as a nation,” he said while featuring as a guest on Politics Today.
The successful entrepreneur added, “It is unfortunate that a lot of people didn’t know who Allen Onyeama is; it’s not the first time I’ve been doing things like that.”
Last Wednesday, the airline evacuated no fewer than 185 Nigerians who indicate interest to return home as a result of the xenophobic attacks on foreigners in South Africa.
Another set of about 319 people are expected to return to the country today but the trip suffered a setback as a result of landing permit.
Gbajabiamila commends Air Peace
Meanwhile, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila (APC-Lagos), has commended Onyema for assisting to repatriate Nigerians from South Africa.
Gbajabiamila gave the commendation while addressing lawmakers at the plenary on Tuesday.
According to him, Onyema is worthy of commendation for providing his organisation’s services without charge to repatriate Nigerians who were willing to return home from South Africa.
The speaker said that Onyema acted without consideration of cost, tribe or personal interest.
The parliamentarian said that the Air Peace helmsman acted for his patriotism and love for his country, adding that Nigeria owed him a debt of gratitude.
Gbajabiamila also commended the actions of Julius Malema, leader of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) who, without equivocation, condemned the attacks.
He said that Malema also directed his organisation to provide aid and protection to Nigerians facing harm.
“I urged the House to join me in commending the actions of Julius Malema, leader of the EFF and a respected voice in the politics of that nation.
“He, without equivocation, condemned the attacks and directed his organisation to provide aid and protection to our citizens facing harm.
“He has since then, never relented in calling out the failures of the government that allowed the attacks to occur and to continue.
“In the same vein, Allen Onyema, Chairman of Air Peace Airlines for providing services without charge, to repatriate Nigerians who were willing to return home to escape the carnage that had been visited upon them,” he said.
The speaker also commended the efforts of the Federal Government in addressing the issues that gave rise to these unsavory events.
He said that the Federal Government was holding the government of South Africa accountable through the available diplomatic channels.
“We will continue to support these efforts by whatever means is required of us.
“The house seeks to take whatever active measures possible to help the returnees resettle in Nigeria and to resume productive lives,” Gbajabiamila said.
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