Viewpoints

Airpeace in search of nationhood

… a commentary

One Nigerian has made the South Africa vicious attacks on Nigerians and their property suddenly look like a Super Eagles match – the one event that blinds Nigerians to issues of religion, ethnic politics, and class distinctions that constantly divide them.

By offering to deploy two of his commercial airliners to evacuate those willing to escape the hell that SA has become for immigrants, Allen Onyema, the owner of Airpeace Airlines, suddenly united his nation in a rare gesture.

The evacuees, most of who ironically “escaped” Nigeria’s economic persecution that has become the lot of the downtrodden, have now chosen this persecution as a better alternative to certain death from their downtrodden SA hosts.

In both countries – Nigeria and South Africa – the leadership is implicated in this criminal enterprise not to free their citizens from a miasma of poverty which makes them lash out at the other with the slightest provocation.

It was from the ashes of the attacks and retaliations that one man, Allen Onyema, rose to separate the fight going on simultaneously at diplomatic, social media, and economic battlefronts with a kind gesture that has been heard all over the world.

Everyone is standing in awe.

He probably did not fully understand the import of his spontaneous show of philanthropy until that moment when he went aboard and was overwhelmed by the pure, unadulterated, palpable atmosphere of joyous relief that enveloped him inside the belly of his plane.

And he cried.

It always boils down to leadership.

Who says we cannot construct the Nigerian nation of our dreams if we keep trying?

The owners of Airpeace have shown how this can be done – through the building blocks of kind, fatherly gestures to the down and out, one block at a time.

Yes. We all can be Allen Onyema in our little corners, using the talent or resources that nature has endowed us with to make a difference in the lives of the other.

God bless you, Chief Allen Onyema, for showing the light.

Ogbuagu Anikwe

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