An Air Peace airline passenger was asked by Air Peace cabin crew to exit the plane after insisting that flight safety pre-take off instructions be translated to Igbo for him. The man was then reported to name Mr. Christopher Aniagboso.
The safety measures are always relayed to passengers in case of an air mishap and is usually done in English in Nigeria. Christopher Aniagboso asked for the same in Igbo for the passengers seated in the over-wing exit of the plane. However this led to a dispute as the means of cooperating with the young man seemed abortive.
Cabin crew could not meet the request and asked the passenger to leave the plane
Speaking on the issue, Mr. Chris Iwarah, spokesman of the airline in a statement, explained that when Mr. Aniagboso insisted on the translation of the safety briefing in Igbo, other passengers seated around him offered to help translate it but he refused and insisted that it should come from directly from the crew. He added that the cockpit crew tried to relocate Mr. Aniagboso to his seat but all efforts made were unsuccessful.
Mr. Iwarah further explained that Mr. Aniagboso had missed his Lagos-Owerri morning flight on the morning of the same day and on that day, he communicated very fluently in English with members of the staff. He afterward rescheduled his flight that afternoon and requested for the over-wing exit seat, a request that was granted. Thereafter on pre-take-off he demanded for an Igbo translation to the safety briefing.
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Mr. Iwarah said that the pretense of not being able to understand the English language was a trick Christopher Aniagboso played to delay the flight. The spokesman further explained that actions were taken to preserve the safety of other passengers:
“Only those who were able to clearly understand and express their willingness to perform their safety responsibility are allowed by aviation regulations to sit in the exit row. It is also clearly stated in the safety cards that only those who can speak English are allowed to sit in the exit row."
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He also added that Air Peace respects and promotes all native languages and will always see to it that it is promoted, but will not encourage any dubious means that intends to compromise the safety of other passengers.
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