- AirPeace Moved Over 300 Nigerians from South Africa
Nigeria’s largest carrier, Air Peace, has evacuated the very first batch of Nigerians living in South Africa following Xenophobic attacks that claimed lives of Nigerians and other African immigrants living peacefully in South Africa.
President Muhammadu Buhari had ordered the immediate evacuation of Nigerians willing to return back home on Monday after Ambassador Ahmed Rufai Abubakar, the envoy to South Africa presented his report.
According to the Director-General of the Nigerian Diaspora Commission, Mrs. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, about 640 Nigerians have registered to return home.
However, Air Peace can not airlift the 640 returnees at once, therefore, it would make a second trip later in the week to evacuate the remaining batch still perfecting their expired traveling documents.
“The Air Peace flight to South Africa will take off from Lagos and land in Johannesburg, South Africa and back. As earlier stated, the take-off would be on Tuesday. This is because the Nigerians in South Africa have to take travel certificate because many of them don’t have travel document and their passports have since expired,” a source close to the government said.
“Air Peace who volunteered this incredible feat has readied its Boeing 777 aircraft for the flight since Tuesday but the Nigerian High Commission needed time to register the Nigerians billed to travel. They are already doing that in Johannesburg and Pretoria,” the source said.
Air Peace Chairman, Allen Onyema, said the carrier is supporting Federal Government efforts at ensuring immediate evacuation of registered returnees.
“We want to send a signal to the world that Nigerians are their brothers’ keepers and I support the Federal Government and the president who would have done the same as private citizen. Buhari under Shagari drove away insurgents,” Onyema said.
The Chairman reiterated that Air Peace is offering a free trip to Nigerian returnees and warned Nigerians not to fall for cheap scams.
“We are offering free trip to Nigerians in South Africa to return home after going through the traumatic experience of the attacks. Air Peace has said this is free and we are doing it in solidarity with the Federal Government,” Onyema said.