Free flight for Nigerians out of SA nears liftoff

Plans to evacuate willing Nigerian nationals from South Africa are well under way and an evacuation plan is already scheduled for tomorrow.

The Nigerian foreign affairs ministry announced on Thursday that the owner of Nigeria airline Air Peace Airlines chief Allen Onyema has volunteered an aircraft to evacuate those with hopes of returning to Nigeria due to the ongoing xenophobic attacks.

Air Peace Airlines, which has volunteered to send an aircraft to evacuate Nigerian nationals, is scheduled to make its first trip on Saturday.

Interested Nigerian nationals, according to a statement from the consulate of Nigeria, are urged to provide the following details:

– Their full names

– Their village of origin

– Contact address in Nigeria

– Next of kin

– Contact telephone number

– Copy of their passport or any ID

– Two passport photographs

Individuals without any form of identification are also welcome. Interested parties are urged to register for travel coordinated by the following Nigerian organisations:

Nigerian Citizen Association South Africa (Nicasa) – Prince Ben Okoli  – 074 801 6289

Igwe Mpumalanga – Igwe Obinna – 074 801 6289

NICASA – Kwazulu Natal – 073 988 2914

Jonas Udeji (Onowu Igbo ) – 083 729 9974

CANSAF – Archbishop Benson Uhwa – 084 733 0718

Ohaneze Ndigbo (PRO) – 083 421 0891

Nigerian Doctors Forum – Dr Emeka Ugwa – 072 753 4901

Nigerian Women Association – Ify Ezeano – 073 922 0555

The Nigerian consulate reiterated that the entire exercise was entirely free for interested parties, and Nigerians who would have registered by Friday evening should hold themselves ready to travel by September 7.

“This gesture should be viewed in the light of the security challenges which our nationals face in the country and federal government’s commitment to the wellbeing of Nigerians wherever they may be,” read the statement.

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has announced his intention to visit South Africa to meet with President Cyril Ramaphosa to share the country’s concern about the security of Nigerians and their businesses in the country.

Meanwhile, Ramaphosa has expressed that xenophobia attacks have damaged economic confidence in the country. In his address to the country, which focused on governments measures to fight gender-based violence and the condemnation of xenophobic attacks, he said the criminal justice system was ready to deal with perpetrators of violence and looting.

He said it was time to end the violence and work together.

This week has been marred by protests, looted shops, owned by foreign nationals and the deaths of around ten people, two of those being foreign nationals.

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