Isa Bayero, cousin of Aminu Ado Bayero, Emir of Kano, has issued a three-day ultimatum to Air Peace to apologise for “disrespecting” the monarch.
He said this on Saturday while addressing journalists in Kano.
On Thursday, Bayero had written a letter of complaint to the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), asking the regulatory body to take action against the airline for allegedly disrespecting the emir and the people of Kano.
He said the airline turned down his request to delay the Lagos-Kano scheduled flight after they were delayed by the same carrier on a flight from Banjul, Gambia, to Lagos.
But Air Peace denied the allegation, saying it took the action to protect the emir’s image.
Reacting to the airline’s statement, Bayero said Air Peace’s claim that it offered the emir an alternative flight to Abuja for transiting to Kano is “pure falsehood”.
“Since we left Banjul an hour behind schedule, the airline should know they have 10 passengers transiting to Kano and should know the right thing is to reschedule the flight because the delay we had was never our fault,” Bayero explained.
“I called severally. They refused to pick, but later picked and told us it was not possible.
Courtesy demands the management should make necessary arrangement for the VIP because I had called the airline while in Banjul to make provision for vehicle that would transit the emir from international wing to domestic.
That they disrespected the emir was the reason why they refused to delay the flight. It is totally wrong and unacceptable because if they truly respect the emir, they should understand the aircraft was not complete without 10 passengers, including the VIP.
For delaying us from Banjul, which caused our arriving late to Lagos, Air Peace has the moral duty to accommodate or take care of us.
Unfortunately, there was no option or offer to ease our situation, only for us to be left stranded.
It was pure falsehood for Air Peace to make that statement that they provided an alternative flight to Abuja for the emir. For that claim, I was the one that asked for Abuja flight and they said it was fully booked.
The Abuja flight was fully booked and if their aircraft to Abuja is full already, how do we get to Abuja? Now, let’s assume they had taken us to Abuja, how are we sure Kano flight was available from Abuja?”
Bayero said he would continue to speak against the alleged ill-treatment the airline caused to the emir and himself as private customers until Allen Onyema, chief executive officer of Air Peace, tenders an apology.
I am giving an ultimatum of 72 hours for Air Peace to tender an apology to the emir, first in a national daily, and secondly to come down in person to the emir. We would not hesitate to go extra miles to correct the misnomer,” he said.
“The action of Air Peace is sentimental and unprofessional and we can go to any length to defend and protect any act of insensitivity against our prestigious traditional institution.
That insult is not heaped on the emir alone, but on the good people of Kano and folding our hands on this could trigger something worse and more ridiculous.”
The question is how many times has Isa Bayero called British Airways, Emirate Airlines, United, Air France, et El to delay a flight because the Emir and his entourage were missing their connecting flights. Here he is threatening to steer up sentiment against Air Peace because they acted professionally. Shame on all of you. You ran the country to the ground and now you’re demanding an apology from a corporate body for considering the interest of their customers. Kings also sometimes consider kindly the interests of their subject. Isa, you should be humble enough to do that.