A tribute to Mr Allen Onyema (Chairman of Air Peace)
Giants have always walked the earth. In history they were tall men with size 45 shoes who went about protecting their kind or taking territories. Goliath was a giant who fell to the sling shot of a young boy who would later be king. One whom God loved so much. Today we have giants in fields of endeavours, doing great exploit by inventing things and providing solutions for mankind as a whole. Then there are giants who do the same thing every day, nothing major… like they ensure traffic flows, children are taught properly and doctors who save lives.
As we all know the whole world was hit with one of the deadliest pandemic (Covid19) in modern day history, with the economies of almost all countries hit hard and the tourist and the aviation industry hit the hardest. This led to a lot of job cuts, reduction in salaries, and it put a lot of pressure on governments and gave very gloom scenarios for the year 2020 and a little further beyond. As the year came to an end (2020), one could only say we just needed to survive, I mean that is all that mattered. What could matter anymore than to stay healthy and also protect our loved ones!
Last year (2020), we all read in the news that the Chairman of Air Peace had terminated the appointments of some pilots and I said to myself how could this be? Not Air peace! You see, Air Peace had become a source of pride to me and I believe all well-meaning Nigerians. I remember when Air Peace rescued a lot of stranded Nigerians from South Africa not so long ago, bringing so much joy and pride to our great nation. I knew it had to be a severe business decision for that to happen, let’s face it we weren’t going anywhere in a hurry. I knew in my mind he would resolve it, after all the connoisseur in conflict and peace resolution that helped resolve the Niger delta crisis, the man that brings peace everywhere he goes is the chairman of Air peace.
I have heard that Air Peace has recalled well over six hundred (600) of their staff back to work. This has gone unnoticed, not a single media house has carried this information I am sharing now. At this point in time when people have lost their jobs and salaries have been cut in the aviation sector, he has kept his eyes on the prize and I know at the very base of the company’s ethos lays the need to cater for people. The numbers might seem little but this is one company diligent in its pursuit of excellence, a people centric business which has touched well over 600 families and we know the cascading effect to the extended family. Mr Allen Onyema should really be nicknamed MR Amazing!!
As we rarely praise people who should be praised I decided to praise a man who is kind from deep within him. A man who will stop at nothing to ensure there is peace in the land. A man whose focus is to grow his business but keeping the very core of our humanity tied to the core values of his business. I have searched him and singled him out because only bad news makes the news. When good things happen the search light is usually pointed somewhere else. It’s a reminder that giants still work this earth.
Mr Allen Onyema, I say to you, let he who has watered be watered, I pray for the almighty God to bless you abundantly in everything you need on this earth and God will grant you long life and continue to protect you always.
I picked these words from a Song writer Jen Foster titled a hero to me
Lest we forget that angels walk amongst us
That all of them aren’t graced with feathered wings
You came to show that some still rise above us
On grounded feet, on grounded feet
You might be running into burning buildings
You might be handing food out to the poor
You might be reading stories to the children
All the reward, you claim it’s yours
You say there’s only one good choice in this life
That it all comes down to doing the next right thing
You say you’re only human doing what we’re meant for doing
Well, that’s a hero to me
Lest we forget the flame that burns within us
In a dark world trying hard to blow it out
You came to shed the light on true forgiveness
Your brightest hour is our brightest hour
I’ve heard you sing the praises of your elders
I’ve watched you spread the message of real love
I’ve seen you weep and wish you had done better
You’ve done enough, more than enough
Lest we forget humility is power
and selflessness the highest form of art
You came to show that some will never cower
The bravest hearts, they do their part
You say you’re only human, it’s what anyone would do
No, you’re a hero; you see
That’s a hero to me