UI honours Onyema with ‘Alumnus of the Year 2019’ award, Air Peace sets for Ibadan route



Posted by Sade Williams



The University of Ibadan (UI), has bestowed on the chairman of Air Peace, Barrister Allen Onyema, her prestigious, “Alumnus of the Year 2019” award.


This was presented during the 2019 Alumni Lecture of the University at the weekend.


“His Alma Mater gave him the award in recognition of his being an illustrious alumnus and his worthy contribution to the society at large, for which the University is proud to have produced him.


L-R: MD, Niger Delta Exploration & Production Plc, Dr Layi Fatona and Chairman, Air Peace, Barrister Allen Onyema


“It was an emotional setting for Chief Onyema as residents of the Ransom Kuti Hall, where he lived as a student years ago, trooped out in their numbers to celebrate him, with several banners bearing glorious inscriptions cheering the Awardee. One of the banners read “Ransom Kuti Hall Welcomes A Great Man, Barr Allen Onyema”.



An elated Onyema thanked the University authority for honouring him, acknowledging that the University helped to prepare him for the task of succeeding in life.



While receiving the awards, Chairman, Air Peace, Barrister Allen Onyema, thanked the Alumni Association for honouring him and his airline, Air Peace. According to him: “My joy knows no bounds today. I appreciate this academia because it contributed to making me who I am today. I love my country and will continue to live a life of selflessness”. He urged his fellow alumni to toe the same path by giving back to the University and the larger society. Onyema revealed that, as part of giving back to the University and the city of Ibadan which shaped him, Air Peace would commence flights into Ibadan from Kano, Owerri and Abuja.



He said: “Very soon, we shall start flying Abuja-Ibadan-Abuja daily, Kano-Ibadan-Kano and Owerri-Ibadan-Owerri 3 times a week. This is part of our no-city-left-behind initiative and our plan to interconnect various cities of Nigeria, giving our esteemed customers more seamless connections. It will be recalled that just last month, the airline announced the commencement of Kano-Owerri-Kano flights.


Speaking, the Vice-Chancellor of UI, Professor Idowu Abel, described him as a detribalized Nigerian who has shown strong commitment to the advancement of the nation through his various humanitarian initiatives and socio-economic interventions, like the creation of massive jobs, peace missions and philanthropy.
In the same vein, the President of the Alumni Association, Professor Elsie Adewoye, expressed gratitude to Onyema for accepting to be part of the homecoming and serving as the Guest Lecturer.
Adewoye, who acknowledged the unequalled strides of Onyema in his chosen turf, added that the institution was proud of him and implored him to keep impacting lives. She noted that the CEO was being honoured because of his historic evacuation of 503 Nigerians from South Africa during the xenophobic onslaught.
The highlights of the homecoming were Onyema’s visit to the VC of UI, the Law Faculty and the Ransome Kuti Hall where the students heralded him, chanting songs in his praise. Onyema, who was gifted with a symbolic ‘drum of peace’, charged the students to eschew all forms of vice, believe in themselves and embrace virtuous conduct. He also affirmed his support to the growth of the institution.


He encouraged the current students to imbibe the ethics of diligence and probity in the quest for, first academic success and then succeeding in their chosen fields of endeavour.


He’s of the view that if the students submit to the academic training and character molding for which the University of Ibadan is famous across the world, the sky would only be the starting point of their success.

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