By Jane Odoh
Senator Patrick Ifeanyi Ubah has lauded the Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of Air Peace, Chief Allen Ifechukwu Onyema for his kindest gesture of bringing back stranded Nigerians back from South Africa free of charge.
The Nnewi born senator who represents Onyema’s senatorial zone, Anambra South, said his Mbosi-Ihiala born brother has demonstrated a gesture that is awesome and marvelous.
Ubah called of Federal to use what Onyema did in this troubled period to see what an indigenous investor can do for his country in time of distress which no foreign company can do.
In his words, “I am extremely delighted to join every well meaning Nigerian in commending Chief. Allen Onyema and the entire management of Air Peace for the brilliant and exceptional display of patriotism displayed by virtue of his move to airlift stranded Nigerians in South Africa.
“It is indeed a thing of profound joy to witness such a selfless and epoch making gesture coming from my brother and constituent who has not only set a new benchmark in the Nigerian aviation sector, but has also actively taken part in humanitarian efforts to aid Nigerians who have been forcibly displaced as a result of the xenophobic attacks in South Africa.
“The speedy evacuation of these displaced and stranded Nigerians from South Africa has attracted tremendous respect to both the government and citizens of Nigeria on the international scene.
“Chief Allen Onyema is a man who has come so far from his humble beginnings, but has never forgotten what it feels like to struggle, and this memory informs his generosity and dedication to patriotism.
“I am beyond pleased with this show of selflessness which epitomizes the true meaning of patriotism. Once more, I wish to commend Chief Allen Onyema for this timely intervention which has placed him on the pedestal of “Heroes” who will be remembered by posterity for their legacy of sacrifice and patriotism to our nation in the face of devastating crisis.
“When I saw the capacity of Air Peace and fought vigorously for the protection of the company’s interests on the floor of the Senate, a lot of eye brows were raised. Today, Chief Onyema’s action has vindicated my stance and proven to Nigerians the importance of local investors and the protection of their investments like it is done in every other country.
“I am proud of the fact that he deployed one of his best aircrafts; a Boeing 777 to make this remarkable sacrifice for our dear nation out of his fleet of 28 airplanes and 20 brand new firm placed orders.
“It is worthy of note to remind Nigerians and the world that this gesture must have cost Chief Allen Onyema millions of dollars as he did this ”Free of Charge” for our nation.
“This is also not the first time that Chief Allen Onyema would be placing national interest and patriotism over self interest. The general public would vividly recall that he used his philosophy of Noviolence to fight the incidence of violent militancy in the Niger Delta, training and transforming the militants during the Niger Delta uprising and engaging the restive youths in National reconciliation programmes which eventually led to the proclamation of amnesty to the ex-militants.
“Conclusively, I want to ask; Can any foreign airline operating in Nigeria do this for Nigerians? The answer is; No.
“It is imperative that we, as a nation, must not only take note of such persons of rare qualities but should also promote and encourage such citizens with formidable contributions to the nation’s economy.
“This is why I am using this medium to urge the Federal Government to continually support our indigenous investors and provide critical infrastructure that would make the nation’s environment conducive for private businesses to thrive because they are the ones that donate their personal resources for succor and societal support when critical situations like this arise.
“The protection of the business interests of these local investors should be a priority to the Government, so that they can be able to do more for the society.”
FROM THE TOWER OF TRUTH