The management of Air Peace has denied complaints that the airline disrespected the Emir of Kano and his entourage, as well as the people of the state.
The allegation followed the refusal of the airline to halt and delay the scheduled flight which was already boarded and set to take off for at least one hour for the Emir and his entourage.
This disclosure is contained in a statement issued on Friday by the Chief Operating Officer of Air Peace Ltd, Mrs Toyin Olajide, where she explained the incident which led to the comments by Isa Bayero, who threatened to incite the Kano people against the airline.
In the statement titled, ‘We never disrespected the Emir of Kano – We acted to protect the image of the Emir’, and which can be seen on its official Twitter account, the airline pointed out that the flight to Kano had been slated for 6:15 am but the Emir and his entourage were said to have still been at the Lagos International Airport after just arriving from Banjul, the Gambia.
The airline stated that delaying the flight would have caused “a very serious uproar in the media nationwide against both the airline and the Emir”.
It said that it took the action in order to protect the name and image of the revered Emir of Kano from ridicule and not to disrespect him because if the airline had done what Isa Bayero demanded, which is to halt and delay an already set to go flight for another one hour, there would have been serious uproar in the media nationwide against both the airline and the Emir.
Olajide noted that by deciding to not delay the flight, Isa Bayero alleged that the airline had disrespected the Emir.
She also said that the airline was appalled the allegation against it was made to incite such negativity towards it.
What Air Peace is saying about the incident
The statement from Air Peace reads, ‘’Our attention has been drawn to a written complaint by one Isa Bayero to the DG of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) against Air Peace and which is published in the public domain.
‘’In the complaint, Mr. Isa Bayero alleged that Air Peace disrespected the Emir of Kano and the people of Kano by not delaying the Airline’s 6:15 am flight to Kano for the Emir! Rather than disrespect the reverred Emir of Kano, Air Peace did all that it could to protect the name and image of the emir from ridicule by not succumbing to what Isa Bayero demanded of the Airline.
‘’If the Airline had agreed to halt and delay an aircraft already set to go – for another one hour – only for the door to be opened and the Emir and his entourage walk 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.
‘’How could Isa Bayero want the management of Air Peace to halt and delay a fully boarded aircraft with doors shut and aircraft already moving, while our respected Emir and eight others in his entourage, including Isa Bayero, were still when I reported this statement to the Chairman, he did not believe me and insinuated that I might not have heard him rightly, because Isa Bayero was well acquainted with him and could not have said such.
‘’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 highest 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 taxiing was halted 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 reverred Emir of Kano.’’