By Lawani Mikairu
A person with disability, Dr Chike Okogwu, has accused Dana Air of discrimination stating the airline barred him from boarding with a claim that ”a new policy forbids carrying” passengers ”with wheelchair”.
In a thread of tweet on Monday, Okogwu, complaining of the alleged unfair treatment said; ”This is indeed the height of discrimination against persons with Disabilities in Nigeria.
”I booked a 7:20PM flight from Abj-Lag which was reschdld to 9.05PM. I got my boarding pass only for DanaAir to say a new policy forbids carrying us with wheelchair.
While sharing a picture of his wounded hand holding a flight ticket, Okogwu posted; ”It’s turning bloody here in Abuja Airport. If we die, we die. I say no to discrimination of persons with Disabilities in Nigeria.”
It’s turning bloody here in Abuja Airport. If we die, we die. I say no to discrimination of persons with Disabilities in Nig. pic.twitter.com/XbLdvGNiIk
— Dr. Chike OKOGWU. (@chikeiq) December 20, 2020
He however threatened ”Persons With Disabilities are mobilizing to all airports in Nigeria to #ShutDownDanaAir. We have the power!”.
In its reaction, Dana Air said the passenger, Dr Choke Okogwu, who alleged discrimination against him by the airline actually attacked its staff who volunteered to assist him.
Narrating its side of the story, Dana Air through its Spokesman, Mr Kingsley Ezenwa said; “Our atention has been drawn to a violent conduct by a passenger named Dr Chike Okogwu, on our staff and booking systems at our Abuja station yesterday the 20th of December, 2020”.
“To put the issue into proper perspective, the said passenger ( a PWD Person With Disability) who we regard as Special Passengers at Dana Air, got to our counter yesterday, 20th December 2020 at about 8pm for his flight and when our Duty Manager noticed him in the midst of the upsurge of passengers, approached him and politely explained to him that as a matter of policy, comfort and safety of our guests, we do not carry Special Passengers at night while offering to check him in first, on the 7am flight the next day.”
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The airline claimed Okogwu ”blatantly refused the offer and went violent on the Duty Manager causing her injuries in the process.
”This same passenger also went further to destroy our check-in systems, chairs, Covid-19 Protective glass shields and weighing machines at our counter in Abuja. ( We have our video evidence).
”Dr Chike Okogwu has enjoyed the luxury of flying with us for many years even as other airlines have totally refused to even sell tickets to him as a result of his reputation of verbally attacking able-bodied staff assigned to assist him whenever he is flying.
”Dr Chike knows that Dana Air is among the few airlines that accepts Persons with Disability with a policy which we expect them to follow strictly in their own interest and in the interest of safety.
“While we acknowledge and regret the frustrations of our guests at this time and working round the clock to resolve the undesirable issues our guests are experiencing, we wish to state without an iota of doubt that Dana Air has never, and will never as a brand; discriminate against ANY passenger no matter the circugmstance.
”Dana Air will also not tolerate any acts of violence against any of her staff, passengers or property and as a law abiding corporate citizen of Nigeria, we urge Dr Chike Okogwu to be civil in his engagements as everything we do at Dana Air will always be in the interest of safety,” Dana Air Spokesman said.
Vanguard News Nigeria
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