Air Peace has been awarded the Corporate Award of Excellence at the 2019 edition of the University of Ibadan (UI) alumni association Luncheon and Awards, held recently.
The airline also revealed plans to start Abuja-Ibadan-Abuja daily, Kano-Ibadan-Kano and Owerri-Ibadan-Owerri three times weekly in the coming weeks.
Mr. Allen Onyema, the Chairman, Air Peace, received the award on behalf of the airline at the event.
Delivering a lecture titled: ‘Nigeria and the Rise and Rise of Ethnic Nationalism,’ Onyema, explained that the country’s bane as its inability to live beyond the prisms of ethnicity.
He noted that Nigeria’s multi-ethnicity was supposed to be strength, but it had become an albatross.
Onyema, who was a UI alumnus, further bemoaned how Nigerians whip up ethnic sentiments in salient national discourses, remarking that “we must make a resolve to harness the powers that lie in our ethnic composition and leverage them for the development of the country.”
While receiving the awards, Onyema, lauded the alumni association for honouring him and his airline, Air Peace.
He said: “My joy knows no bounds today. I appreciate this academia because it contributed to making me who I am today. I love my country and will continue to live a life of selflessness.”
He urged his fellow alumni to toe the same path by giving back to the university and the larger society, stressing that as part of giving back to the university and the city of Ibadan, which he declared shaped him, Air Peace would start flights into Ibadan from Kano, Owerri and Abuja soon.
He said: “Very soon, we shall start flying Abuja-Ibadan-Abuja daily, Kano-Ibadan-Kano and Owerri-Ibadan-Owerri three times a week.
This is part of our no-city-left-behind initiative and our plan to interconnect various cities of Nigeria, giving our esteemed customers more seamless connections.”
The university’s alumni association specially celebrated the Air Peace boss in this year’s event.
Speaking at the event, Prof. Idowu Abel, the Vice-Chancellor, UI, described Onyema as a detribalised Nigerian who had shown strong commitment to the advancement of the nation through his various humanitarian initiatives and socio-economic interventions, like the creation of massive jobs, peace missions and philanthropy.
In the same vein, Prof. Elsie Adewoye, the President of the association, expressed gratitude to Onyema for accepting to be part of the homecoming and serving as the Guest Lecturer.
Adewoye, who acknowledged the unequalled strides of Onyema in his chosen turf, added that the institution was proud of him and implored him to keep impacting lives.
She noted that the CEO was being honoured because of his historic evacuation of 503 Nigerians from South Africa during the xenophobic onslaught.
The highlights of the homecoming were Onyema’s visit to the VC of UI, the Law Faculty and the Ransome Kuti Hall where the students heralded him, chanting songs in his praise.
Onyema, charged the students to eschew all forms of vice, believe in themselves and embrace virtuous conduct.
He also affirmed his support to the growth of the institution.
The UI alumni association lecture and award ceremony is a platform where the university’s alumni cross-pollinate ideas on key national issues and get recognised for excellence in their respective fields.