Following the recent spate of xenophobic attacks on black foreigners in South Africa, the Federal Government of Nigeria has begun the evacuation of her citizens in Pretoria and Johannesburg with the assistance of Air Peace, a private airline operating in Nigeria.
According to a Press Release issued and signed by the Chancery, Consulate General of Nigeria in Johannesburg, South Africa, the evacuation consists of about 640 people who were scheduled to return, adding that the first batch of about 320 people would leave on Wednesday (today) around 9am.
“Sequel to the ongoing arrangements for the voluntary evacuation of distressed Nigerians in South Africa, it has become expedient to inform affected Nigerians about the following; There will be two flights provided by Air Peace and the flight will take off by Wednesday, September 11, 2019 by 9am while the next flight is scheduled for the following day about the same time,” the statement read.
According to an official of Air Peace who spoke with The Punch on Tuesday said that the flight from Nigeria departed Lagos on Tuesday and would return on Wednesday (today) from 2pm, adding that the entire process would end by Thursday.
The Chairman of Air Peace, Allen Onyema, warned Nigerians scheduled for repatriation from South Africa to refrain from paying $1,000 or any amount of money for their flight.
In an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria, Onyema said the arrangement for Nigerians willing to return had not changed, adding that it remained free.
“We have not designated or recruited any agent in South Africa to collect money on behalf of Air Peace. So, nobody should pay money to anyone.
“Any Nigerian who has paid money for repatriation to Nigeria with Air Peace should request for a refund and report to appropriate authorities,” he said.
Air Peace had last week volunteered to send an aircraft to evacuate Nigerians, free of charge, from South Africa.