FAAN shuts KFC outlet for allegedly discriminating against ex-Ogun Gov’s disabled Son - Watchtower media

FAAN shuts KFC outlet for allegedly discriminating against ex-Ogun Gov’s disabled Son
The management of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), on Thursday, ordered the immediate closure of a KFC outlet at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA) in Lagos for allegedly discriminating against the son of former Ogun State Governor, Gbenga Daniel, Debola, who is a person living with disability.

The discrimination against Debola was brought to light following a social media report that he was denied access into the eatery on account of his condition.
The social media report said a ‘Passenger with Reduced Mobility (PRM), Debola Daniel, alleged discriminatory treatment he received at the KFC outlet located at Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos”, which spurred the management of FAAN to take the action of shutting down the outlet.

The victim himself had also on Wednesday, taken to his social media pages to lament maltreatment he got from the fast-food outlet at MMIA, with details of the humiliating experience which he said was discriminatory due to his disability.

In the narrative, Debola said he was denied entry into the KFC outlet due to his use of a wheelchair.

“Being disabled often rolls over my spirit, leaving behind a trail of shattered dignity and forgotten humanity. Nowhere more so than in Nigeria,” Debola wrote.

“To be a disabled in nigeria is to be undesirable, unwelcome and unaccepted. As I’ve said before, it’s a lonely, scary and isolated place.

“Never has this been more true than it has ever been today where I faced the worst sort of public humiliation that I have ever experienced.
“To think that this happened at an international brand @kfc @kfcnigeria at an international airport – Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos – is unthinkable.

“I arrived at the airport as normal for my Virgin Atlantic flight to London. I’m a frequent flyer and I’m extremely familiar with all due processes at Murtala Muhammed Airport.

“Years ago, after all security and immigration formalities have been completed, I would normally go to the OASIS lounge to wait for my flight.

“For the past 3 years, the lift to the lounge has been out of service so I’ve often found solace in other establishments, sometimes lounges, sometimes restaurants such as @kfc @kfcnigeria.

“Today I chose KFC – what a colossal mistake. I entered the restaurant with 4 other travel companions consisting of my brothers and wife. The security personnel at KFC, Samuel, greeted me by name as I’ve been there multiple times.

“Just as we were about to sit, the lady at the till – who was apparently the manager – called out loudly, “NO WHEELCHAIRS ALLOWED”.

“Our group paused in confusion, before my brother, Taiwo, asked what she meant. She refused to listen to reason and stood her ground that at @kfc @kfcnigeria Murtala Muhammed branch, wheelchairs and wheelchair users of all shapes and sizes were not permitted in the premises and we should leave immediately.

“My siblings and wife became instantly irate and proceeded to debate her position with her, ultimately cumulating in raised voices and strong verbal protests.

“If there’s one thing I hate more than anything in this life is to create a scene. I detest it. I do not like to draw attention to myself and as such I began pleading with my people that we should just leave.

“My wife took some video footage and my brothers took some pictures. There were at least 5 other witnesses at the scene, who tried to intervene as things unfolded.

“Eventually, our party departed to another lounge upset and quite frankly pissed off.

“Normally, I would let these things slide but not today. When calmer heads prevailed, my wife and brother – Mayowa – went back and under the guise of buying some food and while audio recording, she questioned the lady again and the lady reiterated her position that the business does not allow wheelchairs into their premises.

“She stated that although she recently just transferred to that branch, it is something that has been drummed into them. NO WHEELCHAIRS ALLOWED.

“It harkens back to dark periods in recent history…No wheelchairs allowed…
“No coloureds allowed….
“No blacks allowed…

“Today I felt less than human, like a guard dog not allowed into the house. Lonely and isolated.

“I will continue to escalate this exponentially until I get a reasonable resolution and there’s no stopping me.

“You cannot treat people this way. There are approximately 27 million Nigerians living with some form of disability. That’s over 13% of the country. 1 in 6 people on the planet are disabled. You MUST NOT treat people this way.

“So my question to @kfc @kfcnigeria is simple: this represent your approach to disabled customers or will you be looking into this? Am I not human enough for KFC?” Debola wrote.

According to him, the refusal by the eatery to allow him entry along with four companions including his wife and brothers, was a clear case of the ‘systemic challenges faced by individuals with disabilities in the country.’

The incident which captured on video and pictures by other customers, became viral as they were posted on social media platforms which forced the FAAN management to take the decision to shut down the outlet.

A statement issued by FAAN’s Director, Public Affairs and Consumer Protection, Mrs Obiageli Orah, stated that the decision to shut down the eatery was in line with the Lagos State law on People with Special Needs, Part C, section 55 of General Provisions on Discrimination which states that, “a person shall not deprive another person of access to any place, vehicle or facility that members of the public are entitled to enter or use on the basis of the disabilityof that person.”

The statement further explained that the MD/CEO of FAAN, Mrs Olubunmi Kuku, had to intervene swiftly by deploying a management team comprising Orah, the Regional Manager South West, Sunday Ayodele, Ag. General Manager Public Affairs, Mrs Ijeoma Nwosu-Igbo and the International Terminal Manager, to investigate the allegation against KFC.

“It is based on the findings of the team that FAAN has shut down the KFC facility at the MMA, where the incident occurred,” the statement said.

“The Authority has instructed that the KFC Management should tender an unreserved apology, in writing, to the affected PRM and a policy statement of non-discrimination be written and pasted conspicuously at the door post of their facility at MMIA before it resumes operation.

“FAAN uses this medium to express our unreserved apology to the affected Passenger with Reduced Mobility and assures all airport users that we shall continue to work tirelessly to ensure that the rights of every passenger are not infringed upon.”

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