RESPECT NIGERIANS COALITION (RNC) TO HOLD A PEACEFUL PROTEST AT THE BRITISH AIRWAYS CORPORATE HEADQUATERS, HARMONDSWORTH ON WEDNESDAY, 17 SEPTEMBER, 2008
Fellow Nigerians and well-wishers of Nigeria,
This is to inform you of our intention to hold a peaceful demonstration at the Waterside Corporate Headquarters of British Airway Plc at Harmondsworth, London following the airline’s persistent refusal to do what is right by Ayodeji Omotade and the Nigerian passengers whom its officials treated in a disrespectful, discriminatory, dehumanizing and racist manner on March 27, 2008 aboard Flight BA 075 from London Heathrow to Lagos, Nigeria. You are all aware of what happened on that day and you are all aware of the position we have adopted since Tuesday, April 15, 2008 when we made certain demands of BA, including following up with a declaration of a worldwide boycott of the airline’s goods and services by Nigerians and well-wishers of Nigeria since May 15, 2008 when they refused to heed those demands.
Despite our attempt to let British Airways see reason, including holding a peaceful protest at their Lagos headquarters, discussing with their Executives in Nigeria, writing to their shareholders here in London and meeting and discussing with some of them at the venue of their AGM, the company insists on playing dumb. Indeed, several attempts by the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Mr Umaru Musa Yar’Adua and some ministers of his government to let British Airways see reason, has equally fallen on deaf ears.
We have therefore decided to take our Protest to their world headquarters with the hope that those at the very top of the organisation will understand better our demands and address them. We shall be there on Wednesday, September 17, 2008 (12.00 midday) to hold that peaceful protest outside the company’s headquarters. The address is:
British Airways Plc
The following day, Thursday, September 18, 2008, we shall also be at the Uxbridge Magistrates Court where the trial of Ayodeji Omotade is to resume at 10.00 a.m. on that day. We are using this opportunity to invite you and well-wishers to come give support to Mr Omotade who, as you know, is being unfairly and wrongly prosecuted. The address of the Court is:
For the avoidance of doubt, our demands on British Airways remain that they:
- tender a clear and well-worded apology to all passengers affected by their discriminatory and intimidatory conduct aboard flight BA075 on 27 March, 2008 in a Nigerian national newspaper;
- tender a clear and well-worded written apology and appropriate compensation to Mr Ayodeji Omotade for financial and emotional losses suffered as a result of the conduct of British Airways and its agents on the day;
- withdraw all adverse statements made to the police about Mr. Ayodeji Omotade over this incident;
- lift the ban imposed on Mr Ayodeji Omotade, even as he would still retain his right to decide whether or not to fly British Airways in the future, and
- issue an undertaking that British Airways shall improve its customer care culture and desist from such practices that give the impression that the airline is arrogant, uncaring and discriminatory.
Nigerian passengers will be treated with respect within and outside Nigeria. Until British Airways addresses our demands, we shall continue with the Boycott British Airways Campaign which has been on since Thursday, May 15, 2008. It is our strong belief that British Airways must be made to behave like a good corporate citizen. We condemn the attitude of those who run its affairs so far and call on all decent people everywhere to continue to join and sustain the Boycott British Airways Campaign until they address our demands and learn to treat customers with dignity and respect.
The purpose of this note is to invite Nigerians and well-wishers of Nigeria based in the United Kingdom, especially the London area for this Protest. We need the numbers to prove that Nigerians indeed strongly condemn the untoward attitude of British Airways. If you can also make the court the next day, that will be nice; but at least make sure you come for one of the programmes indicated. If you are interested, please indicate so on this page. We need an indication of how many people to expect so as to make the necessary arrangements with the police on the day. You can indicate if you are coming for both or one of the programmes. Please, just let us know. Invite as many people as possible that you think will be interested. Just direct them to come and sign up here.
Thank you and God bless!
(For and on behalf of Respect Nigerians Coalition)