Boycotting British Airways

Boycotting British Airways
By Sonala Olumhense

(Sing to the tune of "Blowing In The Wind")

What will you do when Nigerians hear

You bought British Airways tickets?

What will you say when people see you

At BA checking-in?

What will you do when you know we saw you

Boarding a British Airways flight?

What will you do when Nigerians hear

You really breached the boycott?

The answer, my friend, is crying in the wind

The answer is weeping in the wind

What will you say when Nigerians see you

Coming off a BA plane?

When what will you do when our friends ask you:

"You didn't, did you?"

What will you do when the cart porter

Tells you to keep your tip?

What will you do when the street beggar

Throws your money back to you?

The answer, dear friend, is swirling in the wind

The answer is smelling in the wind

What will you say when Immigration

Claps for you but won't say why?

What will you do when the Customs boss

Says: "Open up everything!"

What will you say when the policeman

Asks: "Na where your baggage tags, I beg?"

What will you say when the area boys

Say they already know about you?

The answer, my friend, is teasing in the wind

The answer is freezing in the wind.

What will you do when your own boyfriend

Refuses to meet you at BA?

What will you say when your own driver

Refuses to touch your luggage?

What will you do when your very own cook

Says you must be full from the flight?

What will you do when your very own blood

Says Bro, Who really are you?

What will you do when the manager

Says hotel is overbooked

The answer, my friend, is cooking in the wind

The answer is baking in the wind

What will you do when your dad calls you

Says "Son d'you know your History?"

What will you say when your mother cries

And tells you to remain in the house?

What will you do when your biz partner

Swears he advised you about BA?

What will you swear when the restaurateur

Recognizes you from television?

The answer my friend, is screaming in the wind

The answer is steaming in the wind

What will you say do when complete strangers

Call you "BA" on the street?

What will you do when your very own friends

Refuse to call you on the phone?

What will you do when your own family

Won't even accept your calls?

What do you do when each time the phone rings

Its BA offering you a free flight?

The answer, my friend, never...never BA

The BA boycott is May 15...

The BA boycott is May 15...

The BA boycott is May 15...

* sonala.olumhense@gmail.com



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Re: Boycotting British Airways
Ajimoh posted on 05-11-2008, 05:06:21 AM
Thank you for a timely reminder about the BA boycott. I hope everyone will try their utmost best to continue to give the desired publicity to this matter. Of particular importance is reinforcing to our senators, national representatives, state Governors, their wives and retinue of officials, state legislators, federal & state protocols officers, traditional rulers, newspaper editors, etc about the need to show some solidarity for this cause. Without getting the support of this group of privileged Nigerians, BA will never feel the impact of the boycott and will treat the campaign with derision. We have signed petitions but we need to continue propagating the message behind the campaign against BA. I have no doubt in the ability of 'the average' BA flyer to enforce the boycott but will the Oni of Ife, 'Alao Akalas, 'David Marks' etc of Nigeria and other BA shareholders take any heed? For example, *Mallam El-Rufai, former Federal capital Minister, has flown on BA to London since the campaign started and I am sure there are many more people of his ilk who make mockery of this sort of concerted campaign or/and will feign ignorance of the issue. *See http://www.tribune.com.ng/11052008/news/news1.html
QUOTE:
Meanwhile, Mallam el-Rufai jetted out of Nigeria for London around 10:00am on Thursday thus putting to rest speculations and rumours that President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua ordered the seizure of his international passport and arrest.

The former minister who flew out in a British Airways flight through the Murtala Mohammed Airport , Lagos, will tomorrow start his final law examination at the prestigious London University
SHAME!!
Re: Boycotting British Airways
Zanderlex posted on 05-11-2008, 05:49:43 AM
ANSWER: "IT IS SAFER TO AVOID BRITISH AIRWAYS AND BESIDES IT IS THE LATEST STATUS SYMBOL TO BOYCOT ANYTHING BRITISH"
Re: Boycotting British Airways
Dem posted on 05-11-2008, 07:35:52 AM
Very tasteful prose and reminder about the BA botcott. Hopefully, some of our "big men" will do the right thing to make BA really feel the squeeze.
Re: Boycotting British Airways
Ttonjo posted on 05-11-2008, 07:45:09 AM
What will I do if Nigerians hear that I bought BA ticket? I will say, read between the lines below:

BA Latest:

There is an article on BA protest written by Dele Momodu, posted online on thisday.com, on 9/5/2002, that cut my attention, where he described the on going protest against BA by fellow Nigerians and non-Nigerians alike as: 'Lucifer has escaped from the pit of hell, and there is no peace on earth.'
Will somebody explain to me the 'hidden meaning' of the above statement by Mr. Momodu, or i'm I being too sensitive here?.

In the same article, you can deduce from a conversations between Mr. Momodu and one Mr. Ayodeji, who is a BA staff, where Mr. Momodu, was indirectly patronizing BA, for selfish reasons, and Mr. Ayodeji, promised to pass on Mr. Momodu's message to the BA authorities for a juicy priviledge they so desperately craves (as the so-called elites of the society for a preferential treatment) for a future business with BA. While the rest of us are busy fighting the injustice going on at BA against fellow Nigerians, Mr. Momodu's only concern was how to get 'Air mile allocation for executive card holders' from the same BA we are suppose to be boycotting. (That is sending a terrible wrong signal to the BA authorities), that is always 'business as usual' Nigeria style.

You see, the problems with us is that, while others are trying to build, there are certain people with 'I don't care attitude', (due to their selfish interests), who will always go out of their ways to pull it down. Where do we go from here? Have you ever hear the story of crabs in the basket? This is a perfect example. There were 'Uncle Toms' everywhere, may God held us.

So what did you expect, if the white folks treat the rest of us shabbily? My point is that, this is NOT the time to discuss business with BA at all. After all, there's time and place for everything. Any self respecting Nigerian, should not even dream of doing business with BA until this matter is amicably settled. It might be Mr. Omotade's turn today, it could be you tomorrow. As long as you are a black person, if you don't respect yourself, nobody will respect you. Not only that you deserve respect, (no matter your status in society), you have got the right to demand it if you're being denied your rights as a human being. That is the purpose of this protests against BA and we shall get there, by God's grace.

We are not a fool here. While others are trying to correct the wrongs being inflicted on fellow Nigerians by BA, certain people thought they could capitalize on the on going protests for their personal and selfish gains. :

Read below the full article and form your own opinion. Please concentrate your attention on the bold parts of Mr. Momodu's article, thanks. God bless Nigeria!!!

Still On British Airways
The Pendulum By Dele Momodu,Email:delemomodu@thisdayonline.com, 05.09.2008

It would seem that the world's biggest airline, British Airways bit more than it can chew when it off-loaded some Nigerian passengers recently because of what it considered their unruly behaviour. Since then, Lucifer has escaped from the pit of hell, and there is no peace on earth.
Since I wrote my piece last week, I have been inundated with all sorts. My God! Our people are tough. I have decided to serve you two sizzling hot accounts from the horses' mouths. One from the Nigerian who claims to be the victim blogged his experience on the internet, while the other is from an erudite Nigerian who works for British Airways in London. Please draw your own conclusions, as I rest my case on the raging controversy of the year.
First, I got this from Olu Ayodeji:
I have to admit I'm one of the great admirers of yours; in terms of your business acumen and your regular column in This Day which I do read religiously online every Saturday. Also I wish to state that I'm one of the few African 'Cabin Services Director' (CSD) working on BA flights and I've been a London based BA employee for over ten years on the 'Longhaul' fleet. I must stress that I'm not writing this rejoinder as an official spokesperson for BA, rather I'm doing this as a Nigerian who had witnessed at close quarters the attitude of fellow Nigerians on BA flights.
A number of my friends had called my attention to the petition/campaign going on the internet regarding BA. I wasn't going to pay much attention to this until you alluded to it in your column. Contrary to what most Nigerians may believe, BA is not a racist company; BA employs more people from ethnic minorities than any other public quoted company in the UK, and it was also one of the first companies in the 90's to introduce positive discrimination by insisting that new job applicants must be able to speak a second language. Among the languages officially recognised were Yoruba, Igbo and Hausa; and each crew employee gets annual allowance for speaking another language. Even Richard Branson's Virgin had not managed to do this. I was employed mainly on merit without having to 'press any button' or contact any 'godfather' for favouritism.
Of course, there is no disputing the fact that the Nigerian route is one of the most lucrative routes for BA, but also one of the most problematic. When I first joined BA, I used to stand up to my colleagues, at the risk of losing my job, to defend fellow Nigerians' integrity. Sadly, over the years, I've since abandoned that attitude having witnessed and experienced first hand the embarrassing attitude of Nigerians. As an employer of labour yourself, you will agree with me that employees are employed to work to certain rules and standards. Most Nigerians I've had to deal with expect you to bend the rules for them; even when you try to explain that such compromise could cost you your job.
About five years ago, when BA was still flying to Malaysia, I witnessed first hand when a high ranking Nigeria Diplomat slapped a BA colleague of mine on the face for having the audacity to stop him from bringing a hand luggage that had exceeded the limit on a London bound flight. He produced his diplomatic passport to avoid arrest by the Malaysian Airport security. In my over ten years of flying, I've suffered more abuse in the hands of fellow Nigerians who were passengers on flights I operated on than from any other Nationalities. I've witnessed so much fighting - verbal and physical - among passengers on Lagos bound flights over what I will call trivial issues.
While most black people I've encountered in the course of my flights are often proud of me as a fellow black man and offered words of encouragements, most Nigerians often see my presence on their flights as an opportunity to bend the rules for them, and barrage of negative comments often followed whenever such request was turned down. Only about three weeks ago on a flight from Chicago, I had to intervene to stop a Nigerian woman with three children from being offloaded from the flight because she was very abusive towards a lady colleague of mine. This woman's grievance was that she was not allocated a seat that would enable her to put her infant baby in a 'flight cot'. No amount of polite explanation that there were other families that missed out as well, and that this allocation was done on 'first come first served basis' would stop her from shouting at the top of her voice. I had to tactically intervene and spoke to her in Yoruba that she was on the verge of being off-loaded. That was when she stopped her embarrassing posturing.
Most of my colleagues, especially those who had been operating for decades as crew on Nigerian routes, often spoke highly of Nigerians they had met and had made friends with. Some of my white colleagues have told me stories of how they've gone out socially with some of our Nigerian passengers and how pleasant some of them can be. At the same time, they are often frustrated especially with the present generation of Nigerians who see every shortcoming on the part of BA as a basis for confrontation, verbal or physical assault.
I heard of an incidence from one of our Captains: About three years ago, a Nigerian Minister of Aviation caused a BA London bound flight from Lagos to be refused dispatch clearance by Air Traffic Control. The said minister was supposed to be on the flight, but he arrived late to the airport and the aircraft had already pushed back from the air bridge. He wanted the aircraft to come back to the stand so that he could board, this request was against the BA policy, apart from security issues involved. But the minister wouldn't take no for an answer. After the flight was delayed for about three hours on the tarmac, and intervention from BA HQ and Aso Rock, the minister sadly had his way. My colleague told me that throughout the said flight, the minister was very rude to the crew attending to him.
Sir, again as an employer of labour yourself, I hope you will appreciate some of the difficult circumstances we as BA crew face when having to deal with Nigerians; most of these situations are sadly unique to Nigeria. I don't even want to delve into credit card fraud we had to endure, or so many negative experiences of my colleagues that work on the ground at Heathrow.
Of course as a profit making company, I agree with you that BA could do better in the area of Air miles allocation for executive card holders and I will gladly pass on your suggestions to our products department. As for your suggestion regarding Richard Branson's style of management, that style suits his niche market. BA is not a one man band, unless the company is bought by a maverick multibillionaire.
I rest my case.
Re: Boycotting British Airways
PAPIG posted on 05-11-2008, 07:53:43 AM
GO SONALA PLEASE KEEP GOING

Many thanks Sonala Olumhense. You remain one of the very few celebrated journalists who consistently champion the aspiration and yearning of voiceless Nigerians. Some of your peers have 'gone the other way' just to feather their own nest but we Villagers and Nigerians cannot thank you more for supporting the boycott of BA and spreading the gospel accordingly.

This campaign is already a success on account of the publicity generated. No global firm worth its alubosa (apologies villagers) and in the business of generating profit would let a fraction of already generated publicity continue to fester. You do not need to be a Pius Okigbo to work that out. I do not expect BA to work this out and i can guarantee that by this time next year their share holders may never forget two issues - Terminal 5 debacle and an ever mobile people called NIGERIANS!

Not even the likes of El Rufai, Dele Momodu and the minuscule and irrelevant usual suspects in this village can revise our new found will to STAND UP FOR OUR RIGHTS. And YES we would definitely hold our thieving leaders to account for the mismanagement of our common resources and utter disrespect for our fundamental human rights back at home.
Not that this would change the positions of some of our compatriots back at home and within this village with a contrary view irrespective of the merit of this particular issue. This is not peculiar to Nigerians and please do not forget that there were Nigerians who were steadfastly opposed to the attainment of Independence but ironically ended up being the major beneficiaries of the dividends of Independence. Whatever the case, they remain our brothers and sisters.

Nontheless, as for me, I am off to Barcelona with my family. Even though it is not yet MAY 15, MY FLIGHT IS MOST CERTAINLY NOT BA. NOT NOW AND NOT IN THE NEAR FUTURE.

Many thanks to Ayo Omotade and please Sonala and irrepressible Villagers, it is good to know we can count on you. Do i not like this feeling?
Re: Boycotting British Airways
Olamide posted on 05-11-2008, 09:16:43 AM
QUOTE:
Thank you for a timely reminder about the BA boycott. I hope everyone will try their utmost best to continue to give the desired publicity to this matter. Of particular importance is reinforcing to our senators, national representatives, state Governors, their wives and retinue of officials, state legislators, federal & state protocols officers, traditional rulers, newspaper editors, etc about the need to show some solidarity for this cause. Without getting the support of this group of privileged Nigerians, BA will never feel the impact of the boycott and will treat the campaign with derision. We have signed petitions but we need to continue propagating the message behind the campaign against BA. I have no doubt in the ability of 'the average' BA flyer to enforce the boycott but will the Oni of Ife, 'Alao Akalas, 'David Marks' etc of Nigeria and other BA shareholders take any heed? For example, *Mallam El-Rufai, former Federal capital Minister, has flown on BA to London since the boycott started and I am sure there are many more people of his ilk who make mockery of this sort of concerted campaign or/and will feign ignorance of the issue. *See http://www.tribune.com.ng/11052008/news/news1.html
SHAME!!


I will not be surprised if he (Mallam El-Rufai) actually flew out on a "complimentary ticket" from BA. That is the inducement they give our leaders to turn a blind eye to their misdemeanours against Nigerians. The same thing applies to the telecommunication (mobile) companies. They give complimentary call credits to the President, VP, Senators, members of House of Reps, governors, Ministers etc and charge the poor Nigerians to recover all these free credits. That is why all the noise about changing anything always fizzle out because as the Yorubas say " Bi enu baje, oju gbodo ti" meaning,when you receive a gift (Read bribe) from someone, your ability to deliver an objective analysis or judgement is greatly compromised. Do I have to say anything more?
Re: Boycotting British Airways
Olusola posted on 05-11-2008, 13:41:18 PM
QUOTE:
Thank you for a timely reminder about the BA boycott. I hope everyone will try their utmost best to continue to give the desired publicity to this matter. Of particular importance is reinforcing to our senators, national representatives, state Governors, their wives and retinue of officials, state legislators, federal & state protocols officers, traditional rulers, newspaper editors, etc about the need to show some solidarity for this cause. Without getting the support of this group of privileged Nigerians, BA will never feel the impact of the boycott and will treat the campaign with derision. We have signed petitions but we need to continue propagating the message behind the campaign against BA. I have no doubt in the ability of 'the average' BA flyer to enforce the boycott but will the Oni of Ife, 'Alao Akalas, 'David Marks' etc of Nigeria and other BA shareholders take any heed? For example, *Mallam El-Rufai, former Federal capital Minister, has flown on BA to London since the campaign started and I am sure there are many more people of his ilk who make mockery of this sort of concerted campaign or/and will feign ignorance of the issue. *See http://www.tribune.com.ng/11052008/news/news1.html
SHAME!!



Ajimoh,
What alternative airline would you suggest we fly if we don't fly BA? Virgin Nigeria? God forbid. Since 2007 when I had very nasty experience with Virgin Nigeria as I was flying from London Gatwick to Lagos, I had since vowed never to fly with them. Their inefficiency is second to none. Their attitude towards customers is totally condemnable. Yet, these guys are Nigerians. Not only did I stop flying with them, I also instructed my family never to fly with them. Why should someone blame El-Rufai for his decision to fly BA? If you like, go ahead and boycott and leave those who want to fly BA to go ahead. It's a free world. I will be flying BA next week from Calgary to London Heathrow.
Re: Boycotting British Airways
WaleAkin posted on 05-11-2008, 14:15:36 PM
QUOTE:
It's a free world. I will be flying BA next week from Calgary to London Heathrow.

To err is human.............To forgive is divine!!

If BA tender a public apology tommorrow, they will be forgiven and life continues!!
Re: Boycotting British Airways
Ttonjo posted on 05-11-2008, 16:38:14 PM
Well, well, well....here we go again. I don't personally have any problem with BA or other airlines that I have flew many times before. (May be I am a lucky man, who knows)? Therefore, I don't have problems with anyone who want to continue flying BA, that is their prerogative.

However, the point of this protest is to send a strong message to BA and other corporate organizations that enjoy our patronage that: 'If you hurt anyone of us, you hurt us all.' We deserved to be respected not only as customers but also as human beings. I don't think that , that is too much to ask for.
Sunny Ade, in one of his songs said that: 'United we stand, divided we fall.'

Wake up Nigerians, this is not only about Mr. Omotade and other passengers who were humiliated by BA actions, it is about our 'pride and dignity.'

(By the way, I do not know any of those people that have problems with BA, including Mr. Omotade). All i'm concern about is that, they are fellows Nigerians, period. Therefore, I don't want anyone to put sentiment into my reactions, okay?
Re: Boycotting British Airways
M. Akosa posted on 05-11-2008, 19:57:39 PM
Thank you for this wonderful poem.

As for me and my family, BA is NO, NO.

Nigerians can also clearly send out a strong message to any foreign entity that; if you hurt, harm, abuse, exclude, dehumanise and violet their own, it is highly offensive and unacceptable.

South African blacks have done it and continue to do it.
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