Respect for Nigeria, believing that unity in diversity is a strength, that feeling of love and all such examples make Allen Onyema a role model for patriotism.
The thought that he is from Anambra State and the Igbos are crying for marginalisation in Nigeria has never been in his mind. All he wants is unity in diversity and respect for all Nigerians.
Allen Onyema has a huge concern for Nigerians to have respect. No wonder he volunteered his aircraft: Air Peace to bring home Nigerians who wanted to leave South Africa after the xenophobic attack without collecting a dime from anybody or Nigeria government. It cost him over N280 million.
The Air Peace boss is unlike many who dwell on the fact that they suffered to make money and find it hard to use it often for humanity. He has track records for love and peace.
While a law student, he led a group of nine other students from the University of Ibadan in western Nigeria to the ancient city of Zaria in Northern Nigeria to stop religious and ethnic riot that claimed lives.
The commendations received on return to the University of Ibadan led to the formation of Eminent Friends Group. The mission of Eminent Friends Group was to promote ethnic with religious harmony amongst Nigerians and to stop all incidences of violence in the country. When he graduated in 1987, he established the Eminent Friends Group in all states of the federation. His activism is to enthrone peace in Nigeria.
He was called to the Nigerian Bar in 1989 and went to Lagos in search of a job in 1990. Poor graduate, he has to trek in the streets of Lagos and sometimes join an overcrowded train to go back to Oshodi where he was being squatted. He later started his legal practice in 1990 in the Law Firm of Nwizugbo & Company. He rose to become the Head of Chambers by 1992.
When he resigned from Nwizugbo & Company, he establishes his own outfit ONYEMA & CO. Not long, he also started the property Company of Allen Onyema & Company, and an import trade outfit- Continental Business Links Ltd.
Allen first experience in aviation was highly discouraging. When a group of aviators approached him to pool resources with them to buy a cargo plane. He accepted and sold his estates. Later something went wrong, the business could not go, and he later got his money back after nine months.
Later he went into aviation but with different reason. Allen was involved in a lot of philanthropic activities, by giving money to people to start businesses. But they always came back to ask for more after they may have squandered the money or failed in the business they set out to do. He complained to a good friend who advised him to provide jobs for people instead of giving them handouts. That was in 2007.
Following his advice, he inquired about the type of business he could to provide a lot of jobs and aviation was suggested. Allen was warned by his friend that aviation it was not a lucrative business because of high risk. Onyema was scared because before then, he had never heard anything good about the aviation industry. His wife was also scared when he spoke to her. Later they decided to give it a trial. That was the genesis of the Air Peace. Today Air Peace has created over 3,000 direct jobs and over 80,000 indirect jobs.
He would stop at nothing acquiring all he needs to achieve peace. Knowing that Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King used non-violence to cause lasting change in their different communities, Allen got in touch with an aide of Martin Luther King, Dr Bernard Lafayette.
Bernard trained him and some of his aides in non-violence education. After that, they started training militants and were able to convert many of them. Oil companies such as Shell and Chevron noticed the success they were recording and they started sending militants to them for training. They paid Allen millions of naira for the training. He took non-violence education to the creeks long before Yar’ Adua’s administration offered amnesty to the militants.
For his track record on humanity and peace, Onyema was appointed to the Executive Board of The Global Nonviolence Conference Series Inc. the USA with notable world leaders like Hon. Dr Andrew Young and Suarez Ramos as members.
The standing ovation he received on Wednesday from the members of House of Representatives was remarkable. The eulogies were overwhelming. He was recommended for national honour by the Nigeria house of representatives.
Let us Join Allen Onyema for Better Nigeria.
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