Northern Nigerian Breaking News

FAAN shuts KFC outlet at airport for denying physically challenged person entry

Following a social media report by a physically challenged Passenger (Passenger with Reduced Mobility) PRM, alleging discriminatory treatment he received at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, MMIA, Lagos, the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN, has shut down operations of Eatry, KFC outlet at the airport.

In a statement by FAAN Director of Public Affairs and Consumer Protection, Mrs Obiageli Orah, on Thursday, stated that it was in line with Lagos State Law on People with Special Needs.

It stated that the management of KFC has been instructed to tender an apology to the affected PRM, just as it requested that a policy statement of non-discrimination be written and pasted at their facility’s door post before it resumes operation.

The statement reads: “In line with 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 disability of that person’, the management of FAAN has closed the KFC facility at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos with effect from March 28, 2024.

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“This is as a result of a social media report by a Passenger with Reduced Mobility, PRM, alleging discriminatory treatment he received at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos.

“The MD/CE of FAAN, Mrs Olubunmi Kuku intervened swiftly by deploying a management team comprising the Director, Public Affairs and Consumer Protection,  Mrs Obiageli Orah, the Regional  Manager  South-West, Mr Sunday Ayodele, Ag. General Manager Public Affairs, Mrs Ijeoma Nwosu-Igbo, and the International Terminal Manager, Mr Kerri, to investigate the allegation.

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“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 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.”

Earlier on Wednesday, Debola Daniel, a son of former Ogun State governor, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, had taken to his social media page to lament his maltreatment by the fast-food outlet at MMIA, detailing his humiliating experience and emphasising the broader implications of such discriminatory practices.

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, drawing attention to the systemic challenges faced by individuals with disabilities in the country.

According to him, the refusal occurred as he, along with four companions, his wife and brothers attempted to dine at the outlet. Despite being recognised by the security staff, they were abruptly informed by the restaurant’s manager that wheelchairs were not permitted inside.

This directive left Debola and his group in disbelief and sparked a confrontation with the staff.

“To be disabled in Nigeria is to be undesirable, unwelcome, and unaccepted,” Daniel remarked, shedding light on the loneliness and isolation felt by many in the disabled community.

The situation escalated as Debola’s family members expressed their indignation, challenging the manager’s stance. Debola, preferring to avoid a public scene, suggested they leave. However, the incident was documented through videos and photographs, capturing the attention of other patrons who attempted to mediate.

In a subsequent effort to address the incident, Debola’s relatives returned to the restaurant, covertly recording a conversation with the manager who confirmed the discriminatory policy.

“I have never been the type of person to make a fuss or complain about my disability. My approach has always been “laissez faire”. Ultimately, it is what it is.

“It is a part of my identity and like everyone else, I have my days of self-doubt and confusion as to how/if I fit in society.

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

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“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 had 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.

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“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…

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“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. Does this represent your approach to disabled customers or will you be looking into this? Am I not human enough for KFC?,” Debola wrote.


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