I have just seen the video in which Allen Onyeama, Chairman of Airpeace Airlines, broke down in tears inside the aircraft he had despatched to bring some Nigerians back home from South Africa. Mr Onyeama had apparently gone into the aircraft in Johannesburg to welcome his fellow citizens on board, but he was greeted with spontaneous cheers and adulations from the appreciative passengers. They soon broke into our national anthem and sang excitedly. Overcome with emotions, Onyeama wept. He took pity on his compatriots for their loss, suffering and humiliation in South Africa. The chairman was moved by the good cheer and fortitude of his passengers in the midst of their vicissitudes. What manner of kindness, humility and compassion! It is so emotional.
I wish to thank Chairman Onyeama for being his brothers’ keeper and for his sacrifice. By his decision to help, Allen Onyeama made Nigeria and Nigerians proud, as he gave hope and love to his needy compatriots. He has demonstrated a keen knowledge of corporate social responsibility. Mr. Onyeama deserves a national honour and a mention among the heroes of this nation.
It is however a surprise that other corporate organisations have not yet followed the Airpeace example by extending a helping hand to these beleaguered Nigerians. Where are the banks, breweries and even the oil companies? Who are managing their CSR for them, and why can’t they see that this is an opportunity for them to act as a part of the community they operate in? Good CSR initiatives create endearment for corporate organisations and help build brand loyalty.
Allen Onyeama’s spontaneous response to this problem is commendable. I can only hope that the returning Nigerians have now realized that no matter how difficult things may be, their country is still the best. They should now appreciate this country better than before. The love of one’s country is a sacred civic duty. At the end of the day, your fatherland will always stand by you.
Etim is a journalist