On 19th of November, 2019, social medial greeted the news of how Air Peace ‘blocked’ Mr Joe Igbokwe from traveling on their flight.Mr Igbokwe who posted the news on his Facebook timeline said;
“AIR PEACE SHOCKED ME THIS MORNING AND BLOCKED ME FROM TRAVELING TO ABUJA WITH THE AIRLINE.
Last year December 14 2018 I travelled with Air Piece airline to Enugu on my way to Makurdi for a meeting of Conference of APC Publicity Secretaries, CAPS. On our way to Enugu the Aircraft developed a fault that led to loss of pressure and this created unimaginable panic, screaming, tears and uproar. We gave thanks to God that it was not worse.
I returned to Lagos after to notice that the incident has become a national issue as passengers who recorded the incident posted the video and began to talk. I told my own side of the story on my Facebook page on what transpired and how I remained calm. TVC invited me with the late PRO of the Airline Mr Chris Iwara.I gave an account of my experience of what would have been a national disaster and just moved on.
This morning I had a 6:30 am flight with Air Peace to Abuja to attend an event slated for 10 am but missed it . I met Toyoso Akerele-Ogunsiji at the Airport who worked to get me in for 7 am or 8am. She worked so hard and I received attention. I was happy that I can still make it. I was shocked to the marrows when a manager walked to me and said he had an instruction from above that they should not allow me to travel with Air Peace because of my encounter with them last year. They said I did not speak well of Air Peace.
After our Conference in Makurdi I travelled to Abuja by road and still took Air Peace to Lagos. Last Friday I took Air Peace to Owerri and flew Air Peace back to Lagos. Now what is my offence? How did we get here that we cannot point out what is wrong in the system? Can’t Air Peace accept criticism or correction? Iam yet to figure out why Air Peace had to do this to me.
Throughout history I have found out that criticisms make us to pay attention to details. Criticisms sharpen our skills and he that wrestles with us sharpens our skills also. Criticisms help us to win a debate and get better. It pains me to no end that the management of Air Peace can do this to me”.
Late on same day he posted two other messages on his Facebook, on of the post was to inform the Air Peace airline that he managed to find another flight to embark on his journey and that he has finish with his program and is going back with another airline. The second post narrated what transpired between him and Air Peace in the past. Below are the two post:
“JUST TO INFORM THE MANAGEMENT OF AIR PEACE THAT I GOT A 9am ARIK AIR TO ABUJA AND STILL COMPLETED MY ASSIGNMENTS. I AM HEADING BACK TO LAGOS WITH DANA AIR. THERE IS AN ALTERNATIVE IN NIGERIA. I KNOW IT IS DIFFICULT TO MANAGE SUCCESS THAN FAILURE.
Edward Hillary, the first man to climb Mount Everest did not succeed at the first attempt. He addressed a World Press Conference thereafter with the enlarged photograph of Mount Everest behind him. He turned back to look at the huge photograph and said: “ MOUNT EVEREST YOU DEFEATED BUT I WILL COME BACK TO DEFEAT YOU” and he did and became the first man to climb Mount Everest. Air Peace will not defeat me.
IAM NOT TOO SURE THE CEO OF AIR PEACE CHIEF ALLEN ONYEMA INSTRUCTED THE OVERZEALOUS AND UNCULTURED WORKERS OF THE AIRLINE TO BLOCK ME. IAM WAITING TO GET A RESPONSE FROM THE MANAGEMENT”.
“THIS IS MY DECEMBER 14 2018 STORY THAT LED TO WHAT AIR PEACE MANAGEMENT DID TO ME TODAY!!!
THANKING GOD FOR AVERTING WHAT WOULD HAVE BEEN A MONUMENTAL TRAGEDY TODAY IN NIGERIA.
I had a 7 am Air Peace flight to Enugu this morning on my way to Makurdi BENUE State Nigeria to attend the 3rd CONFERENCE OF ALL- STATE APC PUBLICITY SECRETARIES . By 7 am all the passengers were already in the Aircraft ready to go. The aircraft did not leave. The Pilot told us that they are waiting for the completion of paper works. It was a big lie. The aircraft was having a technical problems. Through the window I saw Air Peace Engineers fiddling with the aircraft. After more than an hour their lies were punctured and they asked all the passengers to disembark and go to another Air Peace packed beside the one we were supposed to travel with. After wasting almost an hour there without success they now asked us to goo back to the Airport waiting Lounge for further information . We all went. Thereafter they asked us to go back to the same Aircraft. We did again. That was the beginning of our second ordeal. 20 mins after take off we suddenly saw the Oxygen Mask dropping. I saw other passengers grabbing the oxygen mask in a terribly panic manner. I managed to put my own as hell was let loose. Some passengers fainted, Children crying, mothers weeping and praying and everybody including myself joined in the prayers. After about 20 mins the normal pressure was restored but no smooth ride anymore. I think the Pilot lost track too that he even flew through Enugu Airport until he found his bearing again. The Aircraft slowed down. The loss pressure probably led to the slowdown. The entire Crew panicked I suppose. At a time l nearly gave up but God is on the throne. We landed safely thereafter to the glory of God. It was a nightmare I will not wish my enemies. Air Peace needs total reorganization and comprehensive overhaul to save the company and travelers. I suspect that the Aircraft that took us to Enugu was grounded for some technical problems but was deployed to manage to take us to Enugu because of pressure from passengers who were desperate to travel. It was a big disaster averted. I Thank God for the instruments he used to save our lives and managed what would have thrown the nation into deep mourning. One mistake like this will end Air Peace success story but God forbid. Let us try to do the needful always and stop managing something that cannot be managed. Deep maintenance culture is the way to go. You cannot repair a faulty Generator by mere painting it”.
The management of Air Peace has since responded to Mr Igbokwe claim that they blocked him from flying their flight. There response below:
AIR PEACE’S RESPONSE TO TO JOE IGBOKWE’S POST
Our attention has been drawn to a Facebook post by one Mr Joe Igbokwe who is alleging that Air Peace deprived him of his 6:30am (P47120) from Lagos to Abuja on November 19, 2019. His post says Air Peace ‘blocked’ him from traveling. We are stating categorically here that this allegation is untrue, we could not have @blocked’ an individual that flies with us, even last week.
It is true that Mr Igbokwe was at Air Peace counter to get his boarding pass but he arrived late. For a 6:30am flight, Mr Igbokwe got to our counter at 6:15am whereas check-in had closed at 6am.
When we could not check him in, he requested to be on the next flight (8am) to Abuja but it was already full. This was clearly explained to him. This was exactly what played out.
How could we have blocked him for criticizing us for an event that happen a year ago? How could Air Peace have blocked him all of sudden when, in fact, he has never ceased flying Air Peace since the said event of last year? We are still at loss as to the reason and motives behind the avalanche of attacks on this airline by this same man at every given turn.
As a government official, we expected that Mr, Igbokwe should have known better than he did by using the social media to defame an airline, especially in an era that the government is trying to sanitize the social media space. Mr Igbokwe’s post is malicious and unacceptable. The Toyoso Akerele Ogunsiji whom he cited in the post has denied saying or doing what Mr Igbokwe attributed to her. Passengers confirmed that he came late. We make bold to say that even the chairman/CEO of Air Peace, has been missing his flight and never called for procedures to be shortchanged for him even though he owns the airline!
Air Peace is strongly committed to giving its passengers an excellent services and will never treat any passenger unfairly. Mr Igbokwe’s perspective is a misrepresentation of the reality and should be disregarded. We still regard him as our customer and will never block him from patronizing us.
After there response Mr Igbokwe have called on the Chairman of the Air Peace to do proper investigation into the matter as he never agreed to there explanation on the matter.
“I woke up this morning to read the response of AIR PEACE concerning their unacceptable and very disappointing behavior to me at the Airport yesterday. Yes, I agree that I came 15 minutes late and friends like Toyosi Akerele Ogunsiji spotted me and tried hard to use her goodwill with the Airline to get me 7 or 8am flight. In fact through her intervention I was asked to forward the reference number on my ticket which I did. The reference No is AK8NV3. About 40 minutes later a lady came and collected my ticket and told me they will put me on the next flight . I was happy. Soon the Station Manager came out and promised to assist me. I relaxed. Some 30 minutes after the same Station manager came and told me that because I once had an issue with the Airline last year they will not allow me to fly. I was shocked to the marrows. I told him strongly that they will not like the outcome of this encounter . I went to ARIK AIR and was lucky to get 9 am flight and I travelled to Abuja, finished my assignment and returned to Lagos with Dana Air.
I have read the pathetic and pathological lies from the management of Air Peace and I pray that God will help them but our God is a God of justice. Did the Station Manager deny not telling me that I will not fly with them because of my encounter with them last year? Has the management investigated this? So they think that I am a small boy that can just imagine things? Do they have conscience? So it is difficult for the Air Peace to accept responsibility and apologize to me? When gold rust what will iron do?
Lies have never won any debate throughout history. You can manufacture a million lies to cover one truth but even when you succeed in doing this truth has a way of coming out to stare you on the face. Air Peace is becoming arrogant due to small success. Air Peace abused my right as their customer and tried to abuse my fundamental human rights as a citizen by spewing lies to defend what can never be defended. I leave them to their conscience. There are other Airlines in Nigeria namely AZMAN, ARIK AIR, DANA, FIRST NATION, MAXI, IBOM AIR etc. I now have a choice.
I still believe that Allen Onyema the CEO of Air Peace can do a proper investigation to know the truth and nothing but the truth. Blatant, congenital and pathological lies have destroyed strong institutions, organizations and even nations. May this never be the portion of Air Peace. May God help us to speak the truth no matter whose ox is gored and no matter the circumstances. The Great Book says know the truth and it shall set you free. Truth is as constant as Northern Stars. I leave Air Peace to their conscience. Case Rested!”