USAfrica: 120 Nigerian-Americans STRANDED at Lagos Airport due to United Airlines flight cancellation.
By Chido Nwangwu, Founder & Publisher of USAfrica multimedia networks, Houston & Lagos• For seasoned insights and breaking news on these issues, log on to USAfricaonline.com and USAfrica powered e-groups including Nigeria360 at yahoogroups and USAfrica at googlegroups. Follow us at Facebook.com/USAfricaChido, Facebook.com/USAfrica247 n Twitter.com/Chido247
USAfricaonline.com Breaking News, August 8, 2012: Children are crying, adults are filled with angry emotions, hundreds are sweating, many are struggling to make hotel arrangements and students are concerned about how to immediately return to their destinations, mainly in southwest U.S., since they have become stranded following
the abrupt cancellation of their scheduled United Continental Airlines flight UA143 tonight August 8, 2012 from Nigeria’s Murtala Mohammed International airport Lagos direct to the George Bush International Airport in north Houston.It was supposed to leave Nigeria at 10.50pm.
The passengers got the information of the cancellation at the check in counter.
Most of the passengers are returning to Houston, Texas.
Almost 160 persons scheduled for the flight are stranded at the airport and around Lagos metropolis without, according to one of the Nigerian-American passengers at the airport, United Airlines making no arrangements to cushion the disruption or provide any hotel arrangements and vouchers. She said “they made no provision, nothing. Our children are all worried.”
Another persons at the airport at the time of the cancellation of the scheduled flight, painfully, told USAfricaonline.com and CLASSmagazine that the most difficult part happened when a representative of the United Airlines told the stranded passengers that the nearest date for a return flight for them to the Houston is likely to be on August 23, 2012; two and half weeks away.
In another troubling aspect to the disruptions caused by cancellation, USAfrica and CLASSmagazine can report based on the eye-witness accounts of 3 passengers on the flight that the United Airline operations staff decided to placed some of the Euro-Caucasian and Asian heritage passengers (about 11 of them) on other airlines namely Delta and British Airways, heading back to the U.S., without putting any of the Nigerians on any of the airlines.
Sam Oparah-Francis, a Nashville-based business executive who was on the cancelled flight, spoke to USAfricaonline.com from Lagos to confirm the preferential picks. “I think it is discrimination and I find it unacceptable, especially here in our own Nigeria. I saw it with my own eyes”, he told USAfrica and CLASSmagazine.
Equally offensive to Oparah-Francis who made accommodation arrangements for himself, his wife and their children in Lagos is that when he, like other passengers asked why United Airlines cancelled their flight, they got no response. “They are not telling us. Many of us are here stranded at the airport. I have meetings, class and teenagers who are going back to school.” One of the passengers at the airport informed USAfricaonline.com that she overhead someone say “it was a mechanical problem….”
With United Airlines reported distant, unrealistic proposed date of August 23, 2012 as likely next available date for most of these Nigerian-Americans, it is the position of USAfrica and CLASSmagazine that United Airlines will only cause further and harsh disruption of these immigrants’ lives, fuel the loss of jobs/employments, force punitive absence for new enrollments to schools, and impact, negatively, timely return to schools for those who are opening in the next few days and weeks across the U.S. Worse, some of the passengers may see their utilities cut and terminated while others will face mortgage difficulties; just for choosing to fly United Airlines.
Continental Airlines (now United Airlines) started daily nonstop flights between Houston, Texas and Lagos, Nigeria, on November 10, 2011; becoming the first airline to run daily scheduled service between Texas and Africa (as reported here on USAfricaonline.com). Delta runs similar flights between Atlanta (Georgia) and Nigeria.
Calls and a message which I placed on behalf of USAfrica/CLASSmagazine/Nigeria360 e-group to the United Airlines headquarters in the U.S were not returned, after 8 hours — at the time of publication of this report, 10.25pm (U.S CST). By Chido Nwangwu, Founder & Publisher of USAfrica multimedia networks, first African-owned, U.S-based newspaper published on the internet USAfricaonline.com; and recipient of several journalism and public policy awards, was recently profiled by the CNN International for his pioneering works on multimedia/news/public policy projects for Africans and Americans. http://edition.cnn.com/video/#/video/international/2010/07/29/mpa.african.media.bk.a.cnn.
News UPDATE, USAfrica, August 9, 2012: (A few hours after this report, according to USAfrica sources and some of the stranded passengers at the airport, United Airlines started providing arrangements for hotel accommodation for several of the passengers who stayed much longer at the airport). News@USAfricaonline.com
Nigeria’s Federal Republic of Insecurity. By Chido Nwangwu, Publisher of USAfrica, USAfricaonline.com and the Nigeria360 e-group. https://usafricaonline.com/2011/12/17/nigeria-federal-republic-of-insecurity-by-chido-nwangwu/ : IF any of the Nigerian President’s 100 advisers has the polite courage for the extraordinary task of reminding His Excellency of his foremost, sworn, constitutional obligation to the national interest about security and safety of Nigerians and all who sojourn in Nigeria, please whisper clearly to Mr. President that I said, respectfully: Nigerians, at home and abroad, are still concerned and afraid for living in what I call Nigeria’s Federal Republic of Insecurity. FULL text of commentary at USAfricaonline.com https://usafricaonline.com/2011/12/17/nigeria-federal-republic-of-insecurity-by-chido-nwangwu/
• Nigeria’s bin-Laden cheerleaders could ignite religious war, destabilize Africa. By USAfrica’s Publisher Chido Nwangwu. https://usafricaonline.com/chido.binladennigeria.html http://www.google.com/search?client=safari&rls=en&q=USAfrica+Chido+Nwangwu+al-qaeda+terrrorism+nigeria&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8 https://usafricaonline.com/tag/al-qaeda/ 310 killed by Nigeria’s ‘talibans’ in Bauchi, Yobe n Maiduguri; crises escalate. USAfricaonline.com on July 28, 2009. www.usafricaonline.com/chido.ngrtalibans09.html http://www.groundreport.com/World/310-killed-by-Nigerias-talibans-in-Bauchi-Yobe-n-M/2904584
Related and prior reporting on the Jos crises on USAfrica, click here: https://usafricaonline.com/2011/08/16/10-killed-in-renewed-violence-near-jos/
News archives related to Jos, here https://usafricaonline.com/?s=jos 310 killed by Nigeria’s ‘talibans’ in Bauchi, Yobe n Maiduguri; crises escalate. USAfricaonline.com on July 28, 2009. www.usafricaonline.com/chido.ngrtalibans09.html http://www.groundreport.com/World/310-killed-by-Nigerias-talibans-in-Bauchi-Yobe-n-M/2904584
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USAfrica: Ikemba ODUMEGWU OJUKWU’s farewell in Aba, today February 28, 2012, reflected a fitting tribute, historically meaningful celebration, proper regard and deserving appreciation of the greatest Igbo, in my opinion, to have ever lived (like him or hate him).
I SALUTE Aba (aka Enyimba city), the robust and fearless town I was born, bred and raised, for giving the Ikemba, our Ochiagha, Gburugburu, Oka oburu uzo, dike na ndu ma n’onwu, mgbadike anyi, a hero’s farewell.
To the Ikemba, may your valiant soul rest in peace and dignity.
We will, and I, Chido Nwangwu, will never forget to continue to tell my generation and the next about your towering courage through tempest and thunder; through sorrow, pain, tears, blood…. •Dr. Chido Nwangwu, Founder & Publisher of USAfrica multimedia networks, first African-owned, U.S-based newspaper published on the internet USAfricaonline.com; and recipient of several journalism and public policy awards, was recently profiled by the CNN International for his pioneering works on multimedia/news/public policy projects for Africans and Americans. http://edition.cnn.com/video/#/video/international/2010/07/29/mpa.african.media.bk.a.cnn.
• For seasoned insights and breaking news on these issues, log on to USAfricaonline.com and USAfrica powered e-groups including Nigeria360 at yahoogroups and USAfrica at googlegroups. Follow us at Facebook.com/USAfricaChido, Facebook.com/USAfrica247 n Twitter.com/Chido247