Ahmadu Chanchangi, chairman of the Chanchangi Airline, who died in Wednesday was a wealthy businessman.
He was also known as a great philanthropist who put smiles on the faces of those who came across him.
Chanchangi famously known for establishing Nigeria’s second private airline, hailed from Takum local government of Taraba state.
ESTABLISHMENT OF CHANCHANGI AIRLINE
On January 5, 1994, the businessman established the Chanchangi Airline. The company had its headquarters in Kaduna state. As of March 2007, the airline had 780 employees. In 2009, it had six aircraft.
It also won the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) and the Corporate Merit Award for ‘Best Domestic Airline of the Year’ for 1998, 1999 and 2000.
Although, largely successful, the airline ran into problems two years into the second tenure of former President Olusegun Obasanjo.
On December 10, 2005, Obasanjo’s government grounded the airline on the grounds that its operations were not safe, but on December 22 of the same year, the airline resumed operations.
Between 2005 and 2010, the airline recorded some incidents that were challenging.
In 2012, Ethiopian Airlines filed a suit against Chanchangi, claiming that the airline owed it millions of naira for maintenance services. Chanchangi Airline failed to appear to defend itself against the charges.
As of 2012, when the airline suspended operations, it had only two aircraft in its fleet.
ACCUSED OF SPONSORING BOKO HARAM
In 2011, a magazine accused Chanchangi of sponsoring Boko Haram insurgents, but he denied the allegation, describing it as a figment of the imagination of the publisher of the magazine.
He said he was more occupied with his aviation business and philanthropy geared towards developing the country.
“The publisher threw professionalism to the mud and went ahead to publish a speculation in order to sell his paper,” he had said.
Trevor Worthington, managing director of Chanchangi Airline, called a press conference where he debunked the negative reports.
“In deliberate attempt to cover up their mess, the name of the writer or author of the report was not included,” had said in a press conference,” Worthington had said.
“To put the record straight, our chairman is not one of the sponsors of the activities of the sect and he has nothing to do with them. Alhaji Ahmadu is preoccupied with his aviation business and philanthropy works in an effort to contribute towards the development of the country.
“Contrary to the belief of the sect, our chairman is a promoter of both western and Islamic education hence his establishment of Gummi Secondary School where indigent students, both Muslim and non-Muslim alike are given scholarships.”
SURVIVED BY THREE WIVES AND 33 CHILDREN
The deceased left behind three wives and 33 children, including a serving house of representatives member.
He has since been buried in accordance with Islamic rites. Thousands of people attended the funeral prayers of the 82-year-old, who was laid to rest at the Tudun-Wada Cemetery in Kaduna.
Ahmed Makarfi, factional chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Murkhtar Yero, the immediate past governor of Kaduna and Sani Dauda, chairman Peugeot Automobile, were among those who attended the funeral.