Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Aviation, Rep. Nnolim Nnaji has lauded the offer and actualization of free airlift of Nigerians from South Africa back home by the Chairman of the Air Peace Airlines, Chief Allen Onyema.
This is just as the lawmakers equally urged the federal government to assist the management of Air Peace defray the huge operational cost of airlifting the 700 Nigerians who have reportedly registered with the Nigerian High Commission to leave South Africa.
Rep. Nnaji, who is representing Nkanu East/West Federal Constituency, described the gesture of the airline owner as patriotic, noting that with that singular act, Chief Onyema has demonstrated “the true spirit of Africans which compels us to be our brothers’ keeper.”
He urged other corporate citizens in the country to emulate the gesture of the Air Peace chief executive in assisting the returnees to settle down since several of them have lost their means of livelihood to the senseless attacks inflicted on them by South Africans.
Rep. Nnaji however, stressed the need for the federal government through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to immediately get in touch with the South African authorities to address the hiccups being experienced by the airline in the airlift operations.
Said he: “l understand that the first flight brought barely half of the expected number of returnees due to the demands by South African immigration officials; they want our people to leave their country, why making it difficult for them to go.”
He regretted that the development led to several delays before the flight eventually took off with about 187 passengers as against the 340 it would have brought, adding that such delays were an added cost to the airline.