Xenophobia: Nigeria encourages citizens in South Africa to return on free travel
The Nigerian government has advised its citizens to “inform their relatives in South Africa to take advantage” of a free return trip to Nigeria.
This is because Air Peace, a Nigerian airline, volunteered to send an aircraft to South Africa to bring back Nigerians willing to return.
This was announced by Ferdinand Nwonye, the spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in a statement on Thursday.
Many Nigerians in South Africa have suffered from the latest xenophobic attacks with many businesses destroyed and looted.
Although at least five people have been killed in the attacks targeting foreigners of African descent, the Nigerian government has said no Nigerians were killed.
The minister of foreign affairs, Geoffery Onyeama, said on Wednesday that Nigeria would not ‘cave in’ on its two demands from South Africa, which are compensation for Nigerians whose properties were destroyed and provision of adequate security for Nigerians in South Africa.
The foreign affairs ministry’s statement on Wednesday suggested the government was encouraging Nigerians in South Africa to return.
“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs wishes to inform the general public that following the recent unfortunate xenophobic attacks on foreign nationals, including Nigerians in South Africa, the Proprietor of Air Peace Airlines Chief Allen Onyema, has volunteered to send an aircraft from Friday 6th September 2019 to evacuate Nigerians who wish to return to Nigeria free of charge.