Xenophobic attacks: Reps honour Air peace boss

urge FG to bestow on him National honour

The House of Representatives on Wednesday honoured the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Air Peace Airline, Mr Allen Onyema for the prompt evacuation of the victims of the recent xenophobic attacks in South Africa.

Mr Onyema who was admitted into the Special plenary session in his honour was accorded a standing ovation by the members of the Green Chamber.

Speaking during the session, the Speaker, Hon Femi Gbajabiamila stated that the House would make a case to the Federal Government to confer Chief Onyema with National Honour for his outstanding and patriotic attitude during the unfortunate incident.

He urged Nigerians to emulate the good gesture of the Air Peace boss who put the interest of the nation above personal gains and interest which further boost the image of the country before the international community.

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Addressing the session, Mr Onyema commended the lawmakers for the honour done him, saying, “you brought tears into my eyes as I have never been honoured in this way in my life.”

Onyema, however, pleaded with the Federal Government to look critically into the plights of those Nigerians who lost their lives and property during the incident.

This came just as the House of Representatives urged President Muhammadu Buhari to include Onyema in the 2020 National Honours Award list for his patriotic zeal in evacuating Nigerians from troubled South Africa back home free of charge.

This followed the adoption of a motion moved by Hon. Abdulrazak Namdas entitled, “Need for Federal Government to Award Mr Allen Onyema National Honours for evacuating stranded Nigerians from South Africa” and seconded by Hon Isiaka Ayokunle Ibrahim who paid glory tributes to the Air Peace boss.

Debating the motion, Namdas noted that Onyema in the wake of renewed unprovoked xenophobic attacks on Nigerians and other foreign nationals Livingstone in South Africa had deployed his airlines to evacuate many stranded Nigerians.

He further noted that in the last two weeks many Nigerians had landed safely at the Murtala Muhamed International Airport Lagos from South Africa.

The lawmakers also noted that the good gesture from Onyema who he described as a detribalized Nigerian was done at no cost at either the federal or state governments in Nigeria.

He called on other well-meaning citizens of the country to emulate the good gesture from Onyema and called on the House to ask that the Federal Government include his name in the 2020 National Honours Award list.

Prior to the motion, a good number of other lawmakers from all the six geo-political zones had spoken glowingly about the good gesture extended to stranded Nigerians from the Anambra State-born lawyer and businessman.

Consequently, the Speaker Hon Femi Gbajabimilla put the motion to a voice vote which the lawmakers overwhelmingly supported.

He subsequently mandated the Clerk to the House Hon P W Giwa to ensure that the resolution “is immediately transmitted to the President for necessary action.”

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