The frantic replies being fired off by Virgin Nigeria to the many supporters of Kemi Ayinde contained what looks like a particularly strong claim. Stella Allen, a Customer Relations Executive at the company stated:

It is pertinent to mention that we do not tolerate the inhumane treatment of any person onboard any of our flights as we ensure that all our passengers are treated with dignity and respect firmly recognizing that Asylum Seekers are not criminals but law abiding persons found to have no right or entitlement to remain in that particular country. Furthermore, Virgin Nigeria does not make any special profit from these operations and has never operated a removal flight before. We only carry passengers booked on our reservation systems.

According to this statement Virgin Nigeria has never carried out a deportation (removal) of an asylum seeker before. The language, unlike the rest of the document, is pretty clear here. Well, how then do you explain flying Jumoke Adediwura and her daughters Elixabeth and Daniella (who’d been living in Birmingham) out to Lagos on Flight VK296 on Tuesday March 6th? Seems like operating a removal flight to us. And what about Ronke Falode and her children who were shipped out of the UK on flight VK292 on Jan 2nd this year? Then there’s the Akwade family who were flown out by Virgin Nigeria on 30th December? Either Virgin Nigeria employees suffer from some kind of strange amnesia or they’re telling us porkie pies. But maybe Stella Allen’s new to the job. Maybe since she’s taken over as Customer Relations executive, Virgin Nigeria really haven’t carried out any deportations?

If this is indeed the case then how do you explain the fact that Bridget O’Kora and daughter Osaivibie who were due to be flown on a Virgin Nigeria flight out of Gatwick only three days before Kemi and family? Bridget and Osaivibie weren’t actually deported, possibly because of a similar wave of letters, calls and e-mails thrown at Virgin Nigeria by their friends and supporters. Many of these campaigners were sent a remarkably familiar e-mail by the very same Stella Allen at Virgin Nigeria:

It is pertinent to mention that we do not tolerate the inhumane treatment of any person onboard any of our flights as we ensure that all our passengers are treated with dignity and respect firmly recognizing that Asylum Seekers are not criminals but law abiding persons found to have no right or entitlement to remain in that particular country. Furthermore, Virgin Nigeria does not make any special profit from these operations and has never operated a removal flight before. We only carry passengers booked on our reservation systems.

Hmmm. Now, either Stella’s very forgetful, very very forgetful, or she’s deliberately trying to pull the wool over our eyes. We could, of course, list more examples. But you get the point. Draw your own conclusions. And Stella, empty your desk.

Advertisements