Emirates Airlines Embarrassed Tinubu – Chidoka

Bola Tinubu 2

Former Minister of Aviation, Osita Chidoka has claimed that Emirates Airlines embarrassed President Bola Tinubu and does not deserve to return back to Nigeria.

He stated this during an interview on Arise News.

He insisted that the way the ban was and is being handled was embarrassing to the president.

Chidoka questioned the rationale behind the visa ban, particularly its timing and its perceived targeting of Nigeria.

He highlighted the inconsistency in the country’s actions, pointing out that while they banned travel from 20 countries, they did not suspend flights to any of them. This discrepancy, according to Chidoka, raises questions about the fairness and logic behind the decision.

According to him, “Emirate banned 20 countries from going to Africa. They operate 26 flights everyday going to Africa, minus Lagos where they have two flights and Abuja, one and none of the 20 countries stopped operation after the visa ban, telling me that the visa ban was targeted at Nigeria. The other 19 countries they mentioned were just a fax to create the impression that it was a widespread thing. Only in Nigeria did they stop their flight operation.

“Emirate as an airline, decided that Nigeria was owing them. Now the top five countries owing airlines in the world include Bangladesh, Algeria, Pakistan, Lebanon, and the emirate did not cancel operations in those countries. They were being owed in these countries, so, what is the rationale with Nigeria? Emirate is the wealthiest airline in the world.

“What is 85 million dollars to Emirates? They continued to pay their staff salaries in Nigeria. They didn’t stop. They continued to pay their rent because they knew they would come back at some point. I believe that Emirates decided that they didn’t want Nigerians in their country during their expo and decided to ban them to stop Nigerians from coming. Arguably, for criminal behaviours and for some issues with Nigerians.

“Meanwhile, while the ban was on, they invested almost 225 million dollars into Nigeria in that same year. Of the 20 countries they banned, they didn’t cancel their flight to any. Of the top five countries, according to IATA data, they didn’t stop flights to any of the other four except Nigeria. What do you make of this information? Emirates was perceived as Nigeria’s greatest ally. We wanted Emirates as an ally because it opens us up to the eastern economies.”