A lot has happened since the 16th of June 2012 when my iPad issue started. Yesterday, at the Lagos Head Quarters of Arik Air, West and Central Africa’s largest airline, we settled it and agreed to move on. The essence of this post is so those who added their voice to mine would know exactly what happened. It ceased to be about me a long time ago and the fact that the campaign was adopted by a lot of people meant that the issue dragged even longer.
I did not at any time request for N50 million from Arik Air. Those who took that up in blogs because of a line in one of my posts, were just looking for hits and I hope they are able to cash in on this last note that says myself and Arik have closed this issue completely.
I have a new iPad along with a Typad accessory but far from these materials, I learnt a lot about myself in the past few months. I also learnt about the history of Arik Air. How Richard Branson who had agreed certain terms in principle with the Nigerian government to start his Nigerian operations bullied the country and played a god on the nation. Welcomed into the country without a visa by four federal ministers and driven straight to the seat of power, yet arm-twisting the government into a compromise. Something had to be done to avert a repeat of the mess. President Obasanjo called a session of Nigerian business men to think through the possibility of having a major Nigerian player. A man rose to the challenge, attracted investment from reputable sources and today the brand lifts some 9000 Nigerians every day through some 150 flights.
We all agree their processes can be better improved and I stated that more than once in my meetings with the owners and I am certain customer service would be the better for it. My quest was never about hatred for anyone or any brand, it was about asking the system a question it was not used to being asked. Now that I have my answers, I have moved on. I also want everyone – irrespective of the side you were on – to move on from this.
I won many new friends and believers; I earned a few enemies and lost a few friends. If there is a bridge in the future to mend the distance, I’d take it. Like I stated earlier in tweets, I will not judge anyone based on where they stood on this issue. except may be for a certain Emeka Okoroji who wrote through a pseudonym “Ajegunle Chap” and tweets to tell unimaginable lies about me. Emeka Okoroji saw an opportunity to defame and attack my person because he believes I have been too hard on a president (Dr. Goodluck Jonathan) he thinks can do no wrong. Arik Air and my iPad issue started in June 2012, Emeka Okoroji has been on my case since last year. Considering his age, you’d expect him to be able to separate his stand from one issue to another but sadly for this one, as long as it is Omojuwa, his stand is to hate. I have forgiven him and I hope he is able to live with hating someone much younger than himself. There is nothing wrong in taking a different position and view from other people but when the issues become about creating lies and fables just with the intent to bring down, you begin to wonder whether it was about the issue at hand or another issue entirely. There were many who cashed in on this issue to express their previously established hatred for my person. Nothing wrong with that – whether or not I like it, I am now in a position where I have to get ready to take whatever is thrown at me, I am dealing with far more people than I’d ever personally meet.
I am not entirely right all the time and I am certain I did hurt not a few people while this lasted, I apologize expressly. I am thankful to those who supported me through it all. I am especially thankful to the unknown people who went out of their way to defend me. You always owe your defenders whether or not you know them. I reserve a special mention to Captain Ado Sanusi who initiated the peace process and without whom there’d be no peace and captain Mohammed who made the right calls and was a gentleman all through and to the chairman of Arik Air Sir JIA Arumemi-Ikhide who closed our meeting with a communion. There were other people involved whose names I’d rather leave out.
We agreed to move on without signing any legal papers. This is an agreement between Nigerians who chose to trust the integrity of one another to do the right thing. There is a lot to do and I know without a doubt that we’d better spend our time and energy focusing on other far more productive issues than this particular one because it is done, settled and sealed. I will send an email to the Consumer Protection Council to hands off. I flew Arik yesterday – see attached boarding pass on the new iPad and typad – and I expect an official notification of my de-listing from the black list in a matter of days. I have made new friends and I just want to enjoy adding another year to my life tomorrow. Some chapters must be closed for new ones to open. On the issue of my iPad and Arik Air, this is the end.
Thank you and God bless.
- Japheth Omojuwa
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