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Meet Allen Onyema; Igbo Billionaire And How He Once Saved Hundreds Of Nigerian Souls.

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South Africa, a nation that the world rallied around her, stood for her and used every possible avenue known to man, to help bring it out of aperthied, once suddenly, so quickly forgotten where they came from. 

The beauty of history can never be overemphasized. In more ways than one, nations and Governments have repeatedly been advised to honestly keep records, and teach holistically, history to their younger generation. 

The most populous and sold African author of all time, Chinua Achebe beautifully gave a quip, “he who does not know where the rain began beating him, would definitely not know where and when same dries up on him”. This is the problem that has overtook South Africa, for her younger generation are not very conversant with their history. 

The aperthied regime that overtook South Africa saw the white supremacy at its heights. It saw special respect, dignity and privileges for white South Africans, whilst the blacks suffered untold hardship, neglect, abuse and many other negativities. The world rallied round them, and stood to fight the apartheid regime out and away of South Africa. 

Tata as he’s fondly called, the South Africa’s greatest gift to the world, Nelson Mandela would be rolling over in his grave in anguish, sadness and heartbreak. Mandela would be terribly disturbed and devastated by what his kit and kin has turned South Africa to, worse case, the abuse, the tormenting and killing of fellow Africans.  View pictures in App save up to 80% data.


South Africans have repeatedly proven P. W. Botha right. Botha was President of the aperthied regime in South Africa. He was quoted as saying, “give them guns, bows, spears and arrows, for they would kill themsleves”. Africans are killing Africans, and in their numbers. 

It’s in the wake of this devastation that befell many from the African continent, majorly Nigerians that a man troubled by such callous maltreatments, the outpouring of man inhumanity to fellow man, the looting, the torture, the maiming and the killing, that this certain man, not a politician, not a super star, not in the league of the wealthiest and someone who didn’t have any aspirations ahead, Allen Onyema rose to that call of history.  View pictures in App save up to 80% data.


Allen Onyema, a legal luminary, and enterprenuer of international acclaim and philanthropist couldn’t sit on the fence, nor by the wayside, and watch as Nigerians continue to suffer. He decided to rise to the responsibility, hallmarks of a true patriot - for the love of nation, her people and for humanity sake, sent a jumbo booing aircraft to South Africa to pick-up stranded Nigerians in their hundreds. It’s on an all-expense paid flight.

Barr. Onyema is a leader when it comes to very sensitive issues bothering on peace, conflict resolutions and diplomacy. Allen is a quintessential, fine and refined gentleman. Mr. Onyema is polished, sane, sound and seasoned. Many wouldn’t know his many contributions to Nigeria’s growth and development. But then, he’s been at the forefront towards engaging any channels available to him to bringing lasting peace to the Nigerian society.  View pictures in App save up to 80% data. View pictures in App save up to 80% data.

View pictures in App save up to 80% data. The face behind the amnesty granted former militants of the Niger Delta has remained unknown. The story of how the once extremely restive youths of Niger Delta accepted to give up arms and militancy, wholly giving-in to the armnesty program is rounded behind the waist of this same giant, Allen Onyema. 

Even when the creeks were declared impassable. At the heat and height of militancy in the Niger Delta region. When no one dared to talk the militants out of their restiveness, Allen Onyema was the last man standing. He entered the creeks, gathered the militants, spoke sense into them. He wasn’t in for negotiation, he came to educate them on where they’re wrong, and proffering solutions to the long lasted imbroglio. 

Barr. Allen Onyema used all arsenals within his reach to get to the militants. He first introduced the possibility of armnesty program, only if they were willing to give up their restiveness, which includes - thuggery, looting, kidnapping, hijacking ferries and ships, destruction of oil pipelines and other establishments owned by oil companies. They were to leave the creeks too, and proceed on trainings abroad. 

It was the late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua who made the armnesty program become reality in the end. However, the role of Barr. Allen Onyema in making that seemingly impossibility become possible cannot be cheaply ignored, ditched, thrown-away nor forgotten. Ide-Ihiala set the ball rolling and he’s remarkably, the standard bearer of the trainings of former militants abroad and some others, on studies. 

Chief Onyema who also is the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Air Peace in outpouring and uncommon show of genuine love for nation and humanity, spent over N250million in sending his jet to South Africa, to rescue and fly-back stranded Nigerians. This is simply phenomenal, and by that act alone, he’s proven to be an incredible being.  View pictures in App save up to 80% data. View pictures in App save up to 80% data. View pictures in App save up to 80% data.

There’s this lame saying of haters of Ndi-Igbo, where they allege that “Igbos do not love, and do not help themselves”. Once again, an Igbo man, Allen Onyema showed that Igbos love themselves, love this nation and can do more for humanity. The everyday contribution of the Igboman to lasting peace, unity and progress of Nigeria, Africa and the world can never be overemphasized. 

I make bold to say, that even in times of danger, worries and great need, where and when it seems every other light has faded, the Igbo man has a way of coming to the rescue and rising to the responsibility for righting the wrongs. Nigeria does know that Ndi-Igbo form an integral part, and indeed, are the solid base and foundation of this nation. 

Allen Onyema has done what’s usual for many Igbomen and women. For Mr. Onyema, it’s not about the glory that comes from same, but the importance of saving and rescuing the sanctity of human lives. There’s an Allen Onyema in every Igboman. 

At this juncture, I want to make a very passionate appeal to the Nigerian Government. I want to respectfully make a case for Allen Onyema. He willingly offered to help rescue Nigerians without asking of anything in return; here am I, appealing that in the least, he deserves a National Honor. Meeting the speaker of the National Assembly is a start but he deserves more. View pictures in App save up to 80% data.

I request, and I hope that I’m speaking the mind of many other good Nigerians, that Chief. Barr. Allen Onyema’s name be included on those to be awarded with National Honor come October 1st, Nigerian Independence day celebration. This is not only right, but timely. It would most definitely spur many others to follow this lead of his. 

Also, it’s about time that the Nigerian Govenrment follow the request of Dist. Sen. Ifeanyi Ubah, where he asked the Senate to engage the Executive, to better harness models and means to growing and bettering the lot of Nigerians in the Aviation industry. Nigerians got stranded abroad, the airline sent to receive them are owned by a Nigerian. We must grow Nigerian businesses, as encouragement and aid to better stand, managing global competitiveness. 

I duff my hat for Allen Onyema, and as he’s fondly known, “Ide-Ihiala, I dare say, may posterity be kind with you. Indeed, you’ve stolen the hearts of many. The tears that dropped down your face whilst you entered that jet to an elated South African returnees who were singing your praises, and subsequently, ignoring the often differing stands of tribe to singing the National Anthem proudly, we would never forget. The generation next won’t forget this humane gesture and kindness of yours.

In the end, what would you be remembered for? The good you’ve done, or troubles you torment. Mr. Onyema has done well, and for same, would be remembered. 

What are your Opinion?

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Source: opera.com
The views expressed in this article are the writer's, they do not reflect the views of Opera News. Read more>>
Top Comments
Ubongejude · 06/26/2020
May God continue to bless him
Ubongejude · 06/26/2020
May God continue to bless him
Ubongejude · 06/26/2020
May God continue to bless him
Ubongejude · 06/26/2020
Great man indeed. Thank you writer

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