FAAN shuts KFC for discriminating against Gbenga Daniel’s son

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The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) says it has shut down Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC), an international fast food restaurant chain, at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, over discrimination against a passenger.

In a statement on Thursday by the authority’s spokesperson Obiageli Orah, the FAAN said the food outlet violated the Lagos State Law on People with Special Needs, Part C, Section 55 of General Provisions on Discrimination.

The statement added that the directive followed a social media report by a passenger with reduced mobility who alleged discriminatory treatment he received at the airport.

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It read, “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 the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) has closed the KFC facility at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos with effect from March 28, 2024.

“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.”

FAAN said, “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.

“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.”

In a series of posts on X on Wednesday, the victim Adebola Daniel, son of former Ogun State governor Gbenga Daniel, described his ordeal as “the worst sort of public humiliation” he ever had.

Daniel, who is physically challenged, noted that it all started during his planned trip to London from Lagos via a Virgin Atlantic airline.

He stated that in years past, while he was quite familiar with security and immigration processes, being a frequent traveller, he would visit the Oasis lounge of the airport to wait for his flight.

However, because “the lift to the lounge has been out of service,” for the past three years, he decided to find “solace” at the KFC outlet in the airport, alongside his wife and his three brothers, whom they were travelling together.

Daniel stated that as they were about to sit, a woman who was “apparently the manager” called out loudly, “No wheelchairs allowed.”

He added that upon hearing what she said, one of his brothers, Taiwo, asked what the lady meant, but “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 five 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.”

Daniel stated that he wouldn’t let such an incident slide, adding that as another of his brothers alongside his wife met the lady at another time, she stressed “that the business does not allow wheelchairs into their premises,” while they took an audio record of her statement.

Responding to the allegations, the food outlet said on Thursday on X, “KFC is unwavering in our stance against bias or discrimination in any form, with inclusivity and respect as non-negotiable pillars of our values.

“However, this recent incident has underscored the pressing need for immediate action. We have embarked on efforts to address the situation and extend apologies and deeply regret the frustration and distress experienced by our guest.”