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Xenophobic attacks: Another 1000 Nigerians queue for airlift from South Africa

By Olawale Abdul-Fatah

Aside from the over 150 Nigerians that had been airlifted from South Africa, at least 1000 others have indicated interest to return home over continued xenophobic attacks.

The airlifting, a strategy adopted by the Federal Government to prevent further murder, had commenced barely three days ago.

The Guild, on Saturday, gathered that the over 1000 Nigerians, willing to leave, had submitted their request to the Nigerian High Commission for possible airlifting back to the country by an indigenous airline, Air Peace.

The management of the airline, meanwhile, has debunked the report that it has suspended the evacuation of Nigerians from South Africa.

The Chairman and CEO of the airline, Allen Onyema, who debunked the claim, hinted that what was delaying their airlift out of South Africa was that Nigerian High Commission was yet to get the next batch available.

He said that the airline would continue to bring back Nigerians who are willing to return to their country until the last evacuee is taken out of that country.

“I said it earlier that Air Peace will bring back to our country all those Nigerians who are willing to return and we will continue to bring them back until the last evacuee is taken out of South Africa.
“I also learned from the Nigerian High Commission in South Africa that about 1000 Nigerians are willing to return home. So what Air Peace has agreed with the Commission is that when it finishes with documentation, settled with Immigration then the High Commission will notify Air Peace which will deploy aircraft to bring them back.
“This is to avoid what happened last time when 320 passengers were expected to be airlifted but South Africa authorities allowed 187 to make the flight,” Onyema added.

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