The Anambra State House of Assembly has urged Federal Government to make Air Peace Airline a National Carrier for its contributions in the evacuation of stranded Nigerians in South Africa.
The lawmakers also urged President Muhammadu Buhari to confer on Chief Allen Onyema, Chairman of Air Peace, a national honour for his philanthropic gestures and contributions to human development.
The resolution followed a motion by Dr Pascal Agbodike (Ihiala Il), and supported by 28 others, which was unanimously adopted at the plenary.
Agbodike moving the motion at a special session in honour of Onyema, said that Air Peace boss transported Nigerians in danger out of South Africa free of charge.
He described Onyema as: “a humble, non-tribalistic, generous, humanitarian and patriotic Nigerian who deserved to be recognised.
“It is on record that his airline is a reputable one, and has won awards such as 2019 Best Carrier in West Africa, 2019 Local Airline of the Year, and many others.
“Air Peace was also used, as a chattered flight to transport the victorious Super Eagles after successfully securing the third place position in the just concluded 2019 AFCON hosted in Egypt.
“Onyema, through his NGO, Foundation for Ethnic Harmony in Nigeria, was instrumental to the peaceful settlement between the Federal Government and the Niger Delta militants.
“In view of this act of national service and selflessness, Chief Onyema truly deserves a national honour,” he said.
Contributing, Mr Nonso Okafor (Nnewi), said Chief Onyema should be given a national honour lesser than the Grand Commander of the Order of Niger (GCON).
“He is not a politician or a government official; he is just an individual, and yet he played a very great role in our nation.
“Conferring him with a national honour is not negotiable, he earned it,” Okafor said.
Also, Dr Pete Ibida (Njikoka ll), described Onyema as a nationalist who believed in the unity of Nigeria and a man of universal character.
“He is a pride to the ‘Igbos’ and to Nigeria as a whole. A national award is not enough, his airline should be made a national carrier,” Ibida said.
In his remarks, Mr Obinna Emeneka (Anambra East), also described Onyema as a man with deep sense of patriotism, generosity and humility, urging Nigerians to emulate his virtues.
According to him, if Nigerians begin to show love, irrespective of ethnic backgrounds like Onyema did, Nigeria will be a better country.
The Speaker of the House, Mr Uche Okafor, commended Onyema for solely volunteered to alleviate the sufferings of Nigerians in the hands of South Africans.