By Christiana Ekpa
The House of Representatives yesterday asked the Federal Government to confer National Honour on Allen Onyema, Chairman of Air Peace, for conveying Nigerians free of charge from South Africa in the wake of Xenophobic attacks.
The House equally resolved to make Air Peace the official Airline of the National Assembly in appreciation of the selfless and patriotic service of Chairman of the Group, Onyema.
These resolutions were reached during Wednesday plenary following a motion moved by Adulrazak Namdas (APC, Adamawa) on the Need for the Federal Government to give National Honour to Onyema who appeared before the House for appreciation on the invitation of the Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila.
Moving the motion, Namdas noted that Onyema released his Aircrafts to convey Nigerians during Xenophobic attacks in South Africa, the House is aware that he did not collect any money and non of his family members was affected.
The motion was seconded by Ibrahim Isiaka (APC, Ogun), who acknowledged that indigenes of his state benefited immensely from the gesture as Ogun was reported to have the highest number of returnees and commended Onyema for been a symbol of hope for Nigerians in need.
The motion was unanimously adopted when put to voice vote while several members who in their various contributions pour encomiums and eulogies on the Chairman of Air Peace, pointing out his previous contributions to national development such as in the Amnesty programme and Almajiri Schools.
In his ruling, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila said his office will immediately write a letter of commendation to Air Peace Airline and transit the resolutions of the House to President for further action.
Speaking on his motivation for the gesture, Onyema said his decision was not spontaneous and geared towards mitigating the hardship been faced by Nigerians in South Africa.
“The decision to evacuate Nigerians was taking spontaneously, neither did I do it for publicity; I had to mortgage my landing right in South Africa, because I just got the landing right before the crisis.
“I did not give a damn; I never did, because I know that I will not go to heaven with any dime.
“I have never been so honoured in my life. You have brought tears to my eyes. I would not have been able to do this if the federal government did not allow me or assemble those people for me to evacuate.”
He further called on government to look into the plight of those who lost lives and properties in South Africa, adding that Nigeria should harness her strength of diversity as a nation.