Japheth Omojuwa: On Arik Air, I admit my madness

by Japheth Omojuwa

In the Land of many victims, the man who dares the oppressor is seen to be mad. For that, I admit my madness.

I left my iPad in an Arik Air flight and that was my fault. I will not excuse that negligence on the fact that flying just days after the Dana crash I was still gripped by its horror. What is not my fault though is the fact that when I returned for the iPad, the Arik Air staff in charge of “Lost & Found” left to check the aircraft and came back saying “they said they found it and put it in your bag.” My response was sharp and simple. How did they match an untagged iPad that was not checked in with a bag that was checked in and tagged? Who gave them the permission to open my bag for them to put the iPad? I asked to make a written complaint but the Arik Air staff, Lanre, said that by speaking to him my complaint process had been completed, that there was no need to write anything. That did not go down well with me. Some have focused on the first part of the issue about why I’d forget my iPad in a plane, they conveniently ignore the part about the Arik Air staff saying they found the iPad and put it in my bag. Someone have even questioned why I’d even forget my iPad in the first place. These are angels and aliens who have never forgotten a thing in their lives. I am human and I forget, not to mention the fact that in about 35 flights this year, that was a first.

I hate to admit it but I live in a country where people have lived with being victims for decades, victimization has become the culture. Rather than take on their oppressors, many Nigerians are still counting on the day God would come down and personally take on that challenge. Here, people never see the principle behind anything, as most things are weighed in naira. For people of principle, my issue with Arik Air had stopped being about an iPad long ago, but for those whose only valuation of life and the decisions they make come from naira and kobo perception, this remains about an iPad and I needed to shut up because “it is only an iPad.” In the end, these are victims of years of oppression, people who have never stood for themselves, people who’d rather adjust to bullies but are now experts on how to treat oppressors. That in itself is normal because I come from a society of many paradoxes.

I do not have a problem with bloggers who would create any fiction out of this to get hits. Many have become the anomaly they report. I once saw a story about Nigeria’s First Lady concerning the Black Sunday plane crash. I knew from the word go it’d be a hit story but I refused to publish it because I could not see the possibility of its content being the truth even though it’d put the First Lady in bad light. Some others did publish and got their hits. For these ones, it is not about the society, it is about their blogs. The hits first, other things second.

Arik Air is yet to say a thing about this officially apart from their desperate Black List, but they have indeed been talking. They are speaking by proxy. A lot of those acting like they are giving personal opinion are indeed doing their job. You know personal opinion when you see one but when you see someone seemingly speaking his or her opinion, yet repeatedly attacks my person and repeatedly seeks amplification for same, it is hard to see that as opinion. Social Media is on the front burner and I am absolutely certain I helped a few people earn some money just by creating a need to defend a company. I only hope the pay is worth it because standing for my own rights has been worth it.

At the end of the day, I have done something few people have ever dared. Given the chance, I’d do it again! When the story is told, no one will remember the multi-coloured friends or the analysis, they will remember the ordinary man who stood against an organisation that even the government of the day had to let go. Rosa Parks was called names by fellow black men who felt her stand to sit when she could have stood up, walked away and avoid trouble was avoidable. There are iconoclasts and the strength of their reality is that they get to do what others never had the capacity to think about, let alone think possible.

I muted in a blog I’d seek a N50 million damage. It is my iPad and my content. It is my right and my prerogative. I never sought the damage but it has become the major line of the long abused victim who wonders how a man could first dare to go against the same people they in their normal state of being victims have learnt to bow to and then go a step further to even contemplate asking for that much. I never asked for that but yes, if I did, it’d be in order.

In the Land of many victims, the man who dares the oppressor is seen to be mad. I am mad.
When Arik Air was called out on their over N84 billion debt by the authorities, they never argued about the content and essence of the issues, instead, they chose to blackmail the minister of aviation Stella Oduah and diverted many from the issue. In a country where many have learnt to chase shadows, diversionary tactics have always been the tools of people who are accused of one crime or the other. It is a tactic perfected by huge debtors and serial tax defaulters. Who best fits the description than one of the subjects of this issue?

Isn’t it also ironic that the same people who heard about the issue being with Consumer Protection Council for over two months without anything to show for it would now advise me to go to court. In a country where justice resides in the court of law, that’d be a natural channel to have justice now but in a country where court judgements are for sale, I’d rather not bother. I will find justice elsewhere because I don’t have N84 billion to bribe judges from and even if I did have, I’d rather justice comes to the fore without bribe incentives. This is would be the anomaly in an average court and I am not about to pretend about it.

I stood for myself and my rights, not just as a citizen but as a consumer, most of those have been beaten into the victim mentality they will always see that as an affront on the norm they have come to accept as the preferable reality.
I have been put on a Black List by Arik Air along with some 25 others including a managing director with one of the industry regulators. That illegality was not communicated even though Arik Air conveniently collected my money last week for a flight and have since not refunded. In trying to board them last week, I had my agent book me on another flight. My attempt to board their flight was my own way of fueling the issue all over again. I knew I was never going to be allowed to fly. The Black List has only just changed the hue of the issue all over again and we will indeed be on this for a while. I am not a victim, I am a fighter and no man alive would cheat me and have an easy ride doing so. Never! That they can abuse and manipulate the system does not mean they will successfully do that with me. I am but one small, ordinary citizen but I will show that sometimes, being seemingly small is not being definitely weak.

“In our quest for justice, we will not tire, we will not falter, we will not fail”

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Comments (35)

  1. Pingback: Nigerian Brands Need To Handle Social Media Like They Are Nuclear Reactors - techcabal.com

  2. In Nigeria, saying something has become quite easy (thought not always). Doing something is a lot more difficult. I don't think we are ready to do anything. That's why we all come to social media and write.

    Remember when you were a kid and were 2 other kids were about to start a fight? Usually the one who kept saying, 'I will beat you o. I will kill you o… Etc' never actually did anything. He was usually the weaker/lazier one.

    And so that is what social media has done foe us all. To talk and talk and talk and talk and talk and talk.

    The black woman in USA who refused to give up her seat to a white man (which has today led to equal rights) did so without talking or writing.

    Go and Do!

  3. If you want to hear the truth, this is it: you forgot your iPad in Arik. The staffer who said he saw it and kept it in your bag and other Arik staffers who subsequently didn't approach the issue/complain of a customer professionally didn't do well. I blame them and they should be ashamed of themselves. However, your approach to the issue was an overreaction. You went on Twitter to attack an entire company? And try to paint them as thieves? The entire company? Are you saying everyone in Arik is a thief? So your Twitter trend said. You went out of line here and you lost the respect of a lot of people. And I know you don't care about losing anyone's respect. You must fight your way however you want, but it was shameful. You were visibly looking for cheap fame and a sincere average Nigerian will never see it as a stance for injustice but a quest for cheap reputation. Next time handle issues diplomatically with the comportment of a well-trained gentleman. Be less proud. Two wrongs don't make a right.

  4. If you want to hear the truth, this is it: you forgot your iPad in Arik. The staffer who said he saw it and kept it in your bag and other Arik staffers who subsequently didn't approach the issue/complain of a customer professionally didn't do well. I blame them and they should be ashamed of themselves. However, your approach to the issue was an overreaction. You went on Twitter to attack an entire company? And try to paint them as thieves? The entire company? Are you saying everyone in Arik is a thief? So your Twitter trend said. You went out of line here and you lost the respect of a lot of people. And I know you don't care about losing anyone's respect. You must fight your way however you want, but it was shameful. You were visibly looking for cheap fame and a sincere average Nigerian will never see it as a stance for injustice but a quest for cheap reputation. Next time handle issues diplomatically with the comportment of a well-trained gentleman. Be less proud. Two wrongs don't make a right.

  5. God bless you omojuwa for this piece. Lies may continue for a hundred years but one day, truth will catch up with it. Please keep speaking up, maybe one day those with the victim mentality will also wake up and join the fight. I have witnessed people being told their flight has been cancelled by arik air by 9pm at Abuja airport without any apologies or official statement and Nigerians being who they are just accepted the situation and kept mum. The airline is inept and useless and their larger than life image will soon catch up with them.

  6. I wouldn't blame the likes of Jave. Okey..u can like to go back and read the write up to see that the same questions you highlighted to Valerie was asked by Japheth.

    As to being matured about it,Ebi,it's all a reflection of *the nigerian mentality* that lives with all citizens,it is not because we don't know our rights or stand for it but its all because of the fear of losing out against an *oppressor* or organisation with *backbone*..like in the case of Japheth,a 'common' citizen and #Arikair.

    It's not about the ipad to Japheth ,it is how we ,nigerians are being treated when it comes to consumer rights.

    Good one Omojuwa,even if nothing is going to be done about it,your voice has been heard by Nigerians,you have alerted us all.I'm sure Nigerians too r on the look out too and will start voicing out their grievances when not satisfied.

  7. Pls permit me to make some points

    1.You shouldn't have forgotten your IPAD on plane in the first place.If you hadn't,all this hoolabaloo wount sele.

    2.Don't think I do not realise as human you can be careless.My daughter in the UK left her telephone at a Cinema or movie th

    eatre.I was furious when she told me.She later told me she went back to the lost items dept of the theatre where she got her phone back.Was I relieved?Definitely I said this may not,mind you I didn't say cannot happen in Naija.

    3.Nothing is wrong in fighting for you rights but it should be in a less belligerent manner.

    I'm with you in that most of our service providers are so incompetent and rude I at times feel like physically abusing them but I know I can't do that because two wrongs don't make a right.The DSTVs,MTNs,AIRTELs of this world come to Nigeria and start treating nigerians with contempt.Definitely this is to be rejected.staff at checking in counters at the airports are so discourteous,the officials checking your baggage are looking and asking for tips,officials at passport control and cash declaration points are very intimidating.

    Our Customer Protection Unit must be strenghtened to protect us even fro some of our cheating,customer unfriendly,time unconsciuos banks.

    4.I do support Omojuwa in his crusade in that 'the man dies in him who keeps silent in the face of tyranny'

    5.I do not want to fail to mention that I found most of the abuses heaped on Omojuwa hillarious.We should however not miss points especially good ones from both sides of the divide.

    Gbenga Dosumu

  8. this is unacceptable in Nigeria service provides treat us like they do us favours even when we pay our hard earned money said services and this cuts across all sectors banking, telecoms , all over..its high time someone took a stand against this hooligans in suits and agbadas….be it an ipad or a pen of sentimental value to you, service provides(Arik or whoever ) should respond competently and now they have the balls to the blacklist our brother..Jokers!!! the regulatory bodies set up protect our interest in this aspect are bigger jokers sef…

  9. my aunt once misplaced a bag full of perfumes on an arik flight from Lagos to enugu, before we went back to arik office she already made the conclusion that she was never going to find it luckily for her arik staff gave her back the bag. she was so happy dat she gave them a perfume each and promised to write good things about them when she gets back to London. the point is that this struggle is not about an iPad but the quality of service we receive in Nigeria, how can u be blacklisted for complaining about ur lost item that's total rubbish. i stand with japhet in this struggle

  10. @Mk or "mukaila" is d name…even if u were paid alongside d foolish Javeh by the useless "Arik" to come and display your generous Folly on net to tackle the innocent Nigerian expressing himself via social media,then not to dis extent na..

    .Davido bought a house for that amount,so?who says japhet couldn't afford a new i-pad?I guess Japhet has been tweeting on your mama's p*ssy then…

    U dis recevidist,son of a bitch!

  11. @Valerie, don't say "left" to make it look mild, it was "forgotten" and that, 1st of all, is the individual's problem. If Lanre told me that, I would ask questions as to how they matched the iPad to the bag, how they had permission to open my bag etc. I would not just walk away without a photocopied written statement addressed to the right authority.

    If they said the iPad was not seen at all, then that's a different issue altogether.

  12. Omojuwa, you come across as a poorly raised prat. NOTHING you've narrated puts you even remotely in the memory realms of Rosa Parks of blessed memory. As long as you persist with an entitlement mentality, wherein you delusionally believe you are 'owed' attention, you hasten the pace at which will be forgotten.

    Shut up, step back and re-assess this entire incident. You were wrong and your reaction was wrong-headed. Others have lost stuff and TAKEN PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY for THEIR mistake. That is the mark of an adult.

  13. Jav don talk am finish! Gbam! Gbam! Gbam!! The discerning sabi dis guy gambits joor. Meanwhile Mr Japh, while you were fighting for a £700 Ipad , branding shirts in support ,engaging goons to hack Arik's website and ranting on twitter, 19yrs old DavidO bought a £600,000 house in Lekki. Go get a job! Or face social crusading with sincerity.

  14. Javeh, Okey, Bayo, Addie and all those running their mouths, Please I have a question for u all and please be sincere… IF IT WERE UR iPad that was left on the plane and Lanre told u it was found and put in ur bag, Wat will u do?

    U ppl just talk cuz u r not the ones involved.. Take a walk in Omojuwa's shoes before u judge him…

  15. Jev or what is that name u choic to find sanctuary in?! Uu are just an idiot and one oof them desperate oppurtunist reaping this nation of humanity

  16. I support you Mr. Omojuwa! Its about time Nigerians stand up to the irresponsible behaviour of service providers.

  17. Lmfaoo!!! But dis omojuuwa of a guy should be locked 4ever!! He's just a common criminal!!

  18. With all due respect to all parties concerned, I believe Omojuwa is an educated person, sad to say, his reasoning doesn't portray this. No fault of his in him forgetting the iPad, but then, common sense should tell u that it was at Owner's Risk.

    Was Omojuwa the last person to disembark, if he was, it could very well have been any of the airline officials that took it afterall, "in every 12, there's always a Judas". If he wasn't, then it could have been any of the passengers coming after him. Dear Omojuwa, what can Arik possibly do about that.

    As for the Lanre issue, this is where ur literacy should kick in for you to know that you shouldn't accept such a flimsy story, but u did and now u turn around to blame Arik.

    Omojuwa, step aside please,and as Bayo said, when u have a valid cause to fight for, please come back, we'll support you.

    Cheers!

    1. Another proxy speaker. The issue is no longer bout the ipad, but them replacing it in the bag, and their nonchalant attitude to customer service.

  19. @javeh:you are a bastard and uncordinated animal so u v got to return to the zoo where u belong…here is my bbpin:27843220,let's slug it out jor,were!!! @omojuwa,pls fight for your right

  20. Apparently, Javeh's beef for Japheth is plenty. I just read the same article on DailyPost and Javeh's comment was there…heheheheh…#HandWorkOfArik

  21. if we are yet to see something with the Arik Air approach to this matter, then the victim mentality is at its peak. Everything about it seems shady. They r just concerned with their biz.d customers can go to hell cos dis is Naija.with a population of 150million & very few airlines,dey wont be running out of customers soon.its crazy but if we can't stand up for ourselves, we shouldn't expect someone(govt)to do the job.

  22. Your iPad had been found and placed in your luggage. That could have actually been the case, but with another customer not you. Yes, its not impossible that another's iPad was found and returned to them on that same flight and they simply thought it was you. There's so many other scenarious that could have taken place. Have you considered that another passenger saw it and nicked it thinking it that Christmas had arrived early for him oror her? Whatever the case, in the eyes of, the burden would be on you to prove that Arik air as an entity stole your iPad. Tough task eh? So far as I can tell, all you've done is open yourself to a libel, slander and defamation suit if Arik chooses to do so. Another thing you should consider is that maybe, you have become a bully. A little federal government of sorts that believes that whatever they believe is right and no one can question them because God is on their side. Look inwards bro. I personally think you're slowly becoming exactly what you're fighting against.The heights of leaderships are very dizzying. Mayhaps, you're yourself, a victim of those heights. Not everyone that calls out your wrong is a paid apologist.I think some introspection is due on your part.

  23. It's a pity that someone is laying a complain about missing item and instead of encouraging the organisation involved to carry out diligent investigation to ascertain the veracity of allegations brought forward by the victim we are criticising him. The Javah responder is he a person or Arik air firing dart from the dark. Lord have mercy upon our nation. If you are hurling abuses on Omojuwa then you will beheaded the man that forgotten 18million naira inside a taxi at Abuja thank God for the driver's honesty anyway but Arik air where is YOURS. They could at least show some source of concerns. I believed the ipad didn't develop feet nor wings. Where is morals in this country. God bless my father's memory in those days while returning from elementary school and I picked bic biro on the ground on my way home once he is aware at home he beats me and made me returns it to the same spot it was picked from. As a parent what legacy are we leaving behind. This writer's does not know Omojuwa from Adam neither does he has anything against Arik air. Just calling for equity as the law demands. Fairness. Wish way Nigerians!

  24. Welcm to d world of Airk air line! Frm Abuja to. SA ,@ abuja I was told there was no dircet flight to SA expect connecting flight to Lagos den SA! I paid 35k to one of d ticketing officers wen dey all refuse to sell ticket for me !hMmmmmm! Behold on board we were just 15 passangers including my sister who got d cliamed direct flight to Sa,to cut d long story short ds same flight took us to Sa and back only for us to get to lagos and I was told I have to get another ticket to Abuja ,which I did ,it was d same aircraft dat bought us frm SA.My minister of aviation do someting about this so called Airk airline .

  25. Rosa parks had a valid case, you don't. Please don't insult her memory. No one would have opposed you if they lost your checked in luggage. You cannot expect an organisation to take responsibility for an item you left on board. Any other passenger could have simply grabbed the ipad. If they did that, everybody would make frivolous claims about items they left on board as well. You said an official told you they found the ipad? But Arik have denied that and my brother, it is your word against their word. There is no valid reason to apply a higher weighting to your word against theirs.

    So here's my free advice, let it go and salvage what's left of your influence and credibility on social media. Next time you have a VALID cause to fight, you wouldn't need to canvass for support, people will stand with you. We all love underdogs.

  26. This Javeh guy is very silly…what if your luggages were not returned? You wrote all that epistle just to tell us your luggages were lost and returned? Let Omojuwa fight for his right and PLEASE….beef HIM less…japh we are with u o jare

  27. Well written. I simply adore this guy. we must stand up and fight for our rights cos there is law in this country and we must stop this attitude of I can't get justice. if we start voicing out now, one voice will become two and will become 3 and so on. I duff my hat japherth.

  28. What a load of waffle from a perennial twitter noise maker! So glad he cleared up the inconsistencies in his idiotic claim and fight with Arik! Firstly the idiot tells the world that he was negligent to leave his ipad in an Aeroplane. What a moron! He is supposed to be above 30 and does something stupid like that! How many people forget their ipads in a plane? He is not talking about how stupid and imbecilic he was in neglecting his ipad rather he is trying to douse his stupidity by accusing Arik of his foolishness.

    Now later he is shifting his whole argument on a Kunle that has no capacity to represent Arik as the person who said they have found his ipad and replaced it in his bag! Firstly he should know no such staff can lay claim to such a statement and if any staff of an airline makes such an idiotic claim he should be fired. What paper work or search or proper procedure did the so called Kunle take to ascertain that his ipad was found and inserted in his bag? Does a Kunle represent the wishes of an Organization that has a customer care section? Where is the kunle he is trying to use as a cover up or blame for his stupidity in the first place?

    Knowing how stupid omojuwa is, am sure when the issue first arose he wasnt diplomatic enough or patient or followed due process to allow Arik staff do their work to get to the Root of his complains! Rather the arrogant prick thinking he is a celebrity because he tweets dross daily gives him the right in the real world to be condescending to Airport staffs and Arik.

    Starting the #Arikwhereismyipad trend was to allow him and his silly brain dead followers who neither see reason or weigh truth from falsehood to assist him in pouring venom on Arik and win in the court of public opinion but at the same time he still wrote a police report, made an official complain and still went to the Consumer protection council while still accusing Arik staffs as thieves. So he was already the judge, jury and executioner and still wanted Arik to worship him and welcome him with open arms. You need to see the daily catalogue of abuses coming from omojuwa and his followers on Arik Daily while Arik did the mature thing and did not join issues with the twitter lunatic.

    Then to make things worse or more interesting or should i say an action only a yaba left patient can emulate, Omojuwa bought an Arik ticket yet again despite all the abuses, insults and accusations to fly an airline he has condemned and labelled as thieves and expect the Airline to have rolled out the red carpet for him because he is Omojuwa, a total nonenity riding on the wave of social media to gain cheap popularity and without twitter he is as insignificant as a fart in the wind. Arik did the best thing by denying him entrance into their flight lest he complains tomorrow that his smelly boxers and tooth brush has been stolen on the flight and he runs back to twitter to start crying like a child lacking breast milk to allow his dense followers abuse Arik on his behalf.

    Blacklisting him puts in the category of terrorists world wide and other airlines should take note and blacklist him too because he is a trouble maker, irritant and cheap publicity seeker. I am not holding forte for Arik that they shouldnt treat customers complains with levity but respect demand respect. He handled the situation badly and he has gotten his reward. I remember losing my luggages in an Arik flight 4 years ago From Abuja to Lagos and my luggages where lost in transist. I complained and was very mad at them but at the same time i listened to their apologizes and advice that i should be patient and allow due process take place! Later that night Arik staffs called me to tell me my luggages have been found and apologized profusely! Thats what being patient means and allowing due process take place! I didnt go to facebook to scream blue murder and for my friends to abuse Arik continously. As long as Omojuwa has behaved like an Animal in the wild, Arik has every right to blacklist him and the closest he would see 50million is when he is playing monopoly. See this hungry, waif looking, long necked beggar trying to use yahoo yahoo format to obtain N50million from Arik! Better go get a daily 9-5 job like everyone else and stop trying to fool Nigerians. The smart ones will read between the lines your ploy to gain cheap popularity but not I! Am still waiting for his new twitter trend #arikrefundmyticketmoneysinceyoublacklistedme! Ode Oponu!

    1. It is clear from your well written and bitter statement that you are a proxy speaker (as already highlighted by the writer) and not someone with a public opinion. If you were patient enough to go through the article, the Arik Staff mentioned was Lanre not Kunle. But you were so eager to do the job you were paid to do. How much were you paid to sell your soul? I would assume you knew the writer prior to this (cause your statement reeks of personal issues), if not, why the bitterness? My name is Koye Tejuoso and I wasn't aware of this situation until now, neither do I know Omajuwa from Adam. But you, the writer of this statement, are one of the problems of the society.

    2. Can tell you are a bunch of maggots. learn to be more diplomatic and not sentimental in your judgement. read carefully idiot

    3. Javeh, if you were half as intelligent as you claim, you wouldn't be as abrasive in your writing. Much of the the adjectives you employed in your write-up really refer to you.

  29. Nice piece. I was one of those that felt "why did u forget your ipad in the plane". Anything thing forgotten in a public place(nigeria especially), if found is simply the grace of God. The answer Lanre gave you is simply not possible. If yout the last passenger off the plane, then a fellow passenger could have picked it also. I used to think that in publis places valuable are at owners risk? Did you expect Arik to own up that one of them took your ipad and declare it? Do u expect them to say their workers are thieves?

  30. Omojuwa I don't know you neither do I ff your blog or you on twitter and I doubt I will now but I STAND WITH YOU on this. This is pure madness and I'm glad you used your ffers and voice to air out this grievance. I don't and can never fly Arik because I cherish customer service above everything; maybe its because I lived abroad or was a customer servive operator for many yrs but I know my rights. You should be compensated or giving a better explanation because your ipad was stolen. Is there a leave at owners risk policy? Honestly I'm too upset by this stupidity displayed by Arik.

    Thank you for fighting and showing Nigerians they have rights- it starts small but least its started.

  31. Omojuwa I don't know you neither do I ff your blog or you on twitter and I doubt I will now but I STAND WITH YOU on this. This is pure madness and I'm glad you used your ffers and voice to air out this grievance. I don't and can never fly Arik because I cherish customer service above everything; maybe its because I lived abroad or was a customer servive operator for many yrs but I know my rights. You should be compensated or giving a better explanation because your ipad was stolen. Is there a leave at owners risk policy? Honestly I'm too upset by this stupidity displayed by Arik.

    Thank you for fighting and showing Nigerians they have rights- it starts small but least its started.

cool good eh love2 cute confused notgood numb disgusting fail