Xenophobia: 320 Nigerians Expected Back From South Africa Today
Nigeria Consul-General in Johannesburg, Godwin Adama, says 320 Nigerians have been registered to be evacuated from South Africa on Tuesday September 17.
Adama disclosed this in a telephone interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja, while giving update on plans to evacuate the second batch of Nigerians.
The consul-general, who said that the flight would be leaving South Africa around 6 p.m on Tuesday, added that the number of Nigerians willing to come back home following the attacks had increased to over 1000.
News Agency of Nigeria reports that the first batch of 187 Nigerians willing to return were transported back home from South Africa on Wednesday September 11.
The envoy said the evacuation process was difficult, adding that proper documentation was ongoing to transport those willing to return home as number keep increasing daily.
He said: “More Nigerians are still coming to register; delay was due to compilation of names and in order to .tell the airline operators about our arrangement.
“We register over 100 intending returnees every day and as we talk now, they are over 1000; they are increasing every day.
“Already, we have 320 names so far registered in the manifest and the next evacuation will be tomorrow, Tuesday at 6p.m.”
The envoy also said that the flight had to be scheduled for Tuesday to ensure hitch-free flight.
“We also wanted to ensure that we have more than enough passengers; we do not want more seats to be empty as previous evacuation.
“We have liaised with the authorities now; we have held joint meeting with the host immigration service and other protocol. So, we are all on the same page,” he added.
The Chairman of Air Peace, Allen Onyema, had volunteered to release aircraft, free of charge, for evacuation of Nigerians willing to return home following the xenophobic attacks.
“Air Peace is willing to support the Nigerian government’s efforts in this matter by deploying our aircraft to evacuate Nigerians back home,” Onyema said.