Air Peace has denied allegations that it blocked the Special Adviser on Drainages and Water Resources to Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos, Joe Igbokwe, from boarding its aircraft.
Responding to Igbokwe’s allegation that he was told by a manager of the airline that there were “orders from above” not to allow him board, the airline said the statement is untrue and not an accurate representation of what transpired.
On his Facebook page, Igbokwe alleged that he was prevented from boarding the aircraft because he criticised the airline after the incident that occurred onboard its aircraft on December 14, 2018.
He said: “Last year, December 14, 2018, I travelled with Air Peace airline to Enugu on my way to Makurdi for a meeting of APC publicity secretaries. On our way to Enugu, the aircraft developed a fault that led to loss of pressure and created panic.
I returned to Lagos to notice that the incident had become a national issue as passengers who recorded the incident began to talk. I told my own side of the story and how I remained calm.
TVC invited me and the late PRO of the airline, Mr Chris Iwara and I gave my account of the experience and moved on.
This morning, I had a 6:30 am flight with Air Peace to Abuja to attend an event slated for 10 am but missed it.
I met Toyosi Akerele-Ogunsiji at the airport who worked to get me in for 7 am or 8 am. I was shocked when a manager walked to me and said he had an instruction from above that they should not allowed me to travel with Air Peace because of my encounter with them last year. They said I didn’t speak well of Air Peace.
“After our conference in Makurdi, I travelled to Abuja by road and still took Air Peace to Lagos. Last Friday, I took Air Peace to Owerri and flew Air Peace back to Lagos. Now, what is my offence? I am yet to figure out why Air Peace had to do this to me.”
But the airline denied his allegations, saying that Igbokwe was denied entry because of lateness as by the time he arrived by 6:15 am, check-in had already closed by 6 am.
It is true that Mr Igbokwe was at Air Peace counter to get his boarding pass but he arrived late. For a 6:30 am flight, he got to our counter at 6:15 am, whereas, check-in had closed at 6 am. When we could not check him in, he requested to be on the next flight (8 am) to Abuja but it was already full. This was clearly explained to him and was what played out.
“As a government official, we expected that Mr Igbokwe should have known better than he did by using social media to defame an airline. His post is malicious and unacceptable. The Toyosi Akerele Ogunsiji whom he cited in the post has denied saying or doing what Mr Igbokwe attributed to her. We make bold to say that even the chairman of Air Peace has been missing his flights and never called for procedures to be shortchanged for him even though he owns the airline. Air Peace is strongly committed to giving its passengers an excellent service and will never treat any passenger unfairly. Mr Igbokwe’s perspective is a misrepresentation of the reality and should be disregarded,” the airline said.
AIR PEACE REACTION
Our Attention has been drawn to a Facebook post by one Mr Joe Igbokwe who is alleging that Air peace deprived him of his 6:30am flight (P47120) from Lagos Abuja on November 19, 2019.
“His Post says “Air Peace blocked him from travelling. We are stating categorically here that this allegation is untrue. we could not have blocked and individual that flies with us, even last week.
It is untrue that Mr. Joe Igbokwe was at Air peace counter to get his boarding pass but he arrived late. For a 6:30 am Flight, Mr Joe Igbokwe got to our counter 6:15am whereas check-in had closed at 6am.
When we could not check him in, he requested to be on the Next flight (8am) to Abuja but it was already full. This was clearly explained to him. This is exactly what played out.
How could we have blocked him for criticizing us for a event that happened a year ago?
How could Air Peace have blocked him all of a sudden when, in fact, he has never ceased flying Air Peace since the said event of Last year?
We are still at loss as to the reason and motive behind the avalanche of attacks on this Airline by this same man at every given turn.
As a government official, we expected that Mr. Joe Igbokwe should have known better than he did by using the social media to defame an Airline, especially in an era that the government is trying to sanitize the social media space.
Mr Joe Igbokwe’s post is Malicious and unacceptable. The Toyoso Akerele Ogunsiji whom he cited in the post has denied saying or doing what Mr Igbokwe attributed to her.
Passengers confirmed that he came late. We make bold to say that even the Chairman/CEO of Air Peace, has been missing his flights and never called for procedures to be shortened for him even though he owns the Airline.
“Air Peace is strongly committed to giving its passengers an excellent service and will never treat any passenger unfairly. Mr Joe Igbokwe’s perspective is a misrepresentation of the reality and should be disregarded. We still regard him as our customer and will never block him from patronizing us.”
Responding earlier today, Joe Igbokwe wrote:
I woke up this morning to read the response of AIR PEACE concerning their unacceptable and very disappointing behavior to me at the Airport yesterday.
Yes, I agree that I came 15 minutes late and friends like Toyosi Akerele Ogunsiji spotted me and tried hard to use her goodwill with the Airline to get me 7 or 8am flight.
In fact through her intervention I was asked to forward the reference number on my ticket which I did. The reference No is AK8NV3.
About 40 minutes later a lady came and collected my ticket and told they will put me on the next flight . I was happy.
“Soon the Station Manager came out and promised to assist me. I relaxed.
Some 30 minutes after the same Station manager came and told me that because I once had an issue with the Airline last year they will not allow me to fly.
I was shocked to the marrows. I told him strongly that they will not like the outcome of this encounter . I went to ARIK AIR and was lucky to get 9 am flight and I travelled to Abuja, finished my assignment and returned to Lagos with Dana Air.
I have read the pathetic and pathological lies from the management of Air Peace and I pray that God will help them but our God is a God of justice.
Did the Station Manager deny not telling me that I will not fly with them because of my encounter with them last year?
Has the management investigated this? So they think that I am a small boy that can just imagine things? Do they have conscience?
So it is difficult for the Air Peace to accept responsibility and apologize to me? When gold rust what will iron do?
Lies have never won any debate throughput history. You can manufacture a million lies to cover one truth but even when you succeed in doing this truth has a way of coming out to stare you on the face.
Air Peace is becoming arrogant due to small success.
Air Peace abused my right as their customer and tried to abuse my fundamental human rights as a citizen by spewing lies to defend what can never be defended. I leave them to their conscience.
There are other Airlines in Nigeria namely AZMAN, ARIK AIR, DANA, FIRST NATION, MAXI, IBOM AIR etc. I now have a choice.
I still believe that Allen Onyema the CEO of Air Peace can do a proper investigation to know the truth and nothing but the truth.
Blatant, congenital and pathological lies have destroyed strong institutions, organizations and even nations. May this never be the portion of Air Peace.
May God help us to speak the truth no matter whose ox is gored and no matter the circumstances.
“The Great Book says know the truth and it shall set you free. Truth is as constant as Northern Stars. I leave Air Peace to their conscience. Case Rested!”
He later posted again:
“Mrs Toyin Olajide , the COO Air Peace just spoke to me now and told me they are investigating the matter and that nobody was given an instruction to blacklist me from using air peace