Air Peace: Pan-Yoruba Urges Southwest Nigerian State Governors To Establish O’odua Airlines

Following the historic and inaugural flight of Air Peace, which took off on March 30, 2024, from Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, and landed at London, United Kingdom’s Gatwick Airport and met with excitement across the country, the Alliance for Yoruba Democratic Movements (AYDM) has called upon the six south-west Nigerian states to establish O’odua Airlines, focusing on both local and international routes.

In a statement released on Tuesday, the AYDM emphasized the considerable potential for success that this venture holds.

According to Mr. Popoola Ajayi, the General Secretary of AYDM, the establishment of O’odua Airlines would complement existing private endeavors, leading to reduced air travel expenses, increased job opportunities, and advancements in the tourism and agricultural sectors within the region and across Nigeria.

Having already dispatched letters to the state governors in the South-West, the group urges swift action to initiate this endeavor.

It said, “We call on the Governors of Lagos, Ogun, Oyo, Osun, Ekiti and Ondo to begin the process of creating O’odua Airlines. This is of utmost priority.

“There are some 10 million Nigerians living in West Africa among whom are over three million Yoruba people resident in Ivory Coast alone. In Europe and America, the Yoruba and Nigerians have the largest population of black people.

“In the UK alone, there are no fewer than one million Nigerians while in the United States, the figure is even higher. These people use foreign airlines because there are no alternatives.”

The group emphasized that the establishment of the O’odua airline would enhance the transportation of agricultural products within Nigeria.

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Also, they praised the endeavors of Air Peace CEO, Mr. Allen Onyema, while highlighting that numerous challenges still exist within the aviation sector that need to be addressed.

“Air Peace has made a remarkable move which is commendable, but this is not enough. Other stakeholders should invest in the aviation industry. The Southwest States should team up to establish a regional airline. This will remain a milestone and a significant contribution to solving unemployment and improving tourism in Nigeria and in the South West,” Ajayi said

He noted that ever since Ibom Airlines was established, the project has consistently flourished. Furthermore, he emphasized that the Akwa Ibom State government’s initiative sets a benchmark for other state governments across Nigeria.

The group said, “There can be no better time to establish the O’odua Airline. We suggest that Ibadan should be the commercial hub of the O’odua Airline. Five of the Southwest states, Lagos, Ondo, Ekiti, Oyo and Ogun states have airports.

“With O’odua Airline, the airports will become even more active.”

Ajayi emphasized the importance for governors to establish a technical committee promptly to address the issue and devise necessary procedures.

He highlighted that numerous aviation firms globally would eagerly seek collaboration opportunities with the Southwest states for the project.