BY: Victoria Ojeme
Nigeria Consul General in Johannesburg, Godwin Adama, says no Nigerian was arrested as alleged in the cause of their evacuation from that country following attacks on them.
Adama told vanguard through telephone on Thursday in Abuja that evacuation process was difficult, saying proper documentation was ongoing to transport those willing to return home.
He said the evacuation process was postponed to enable those who had issues with their documents resolve it
“We have not airlifted anybody today we are waiting to prepare properly, because we lost some spaces in the aircraft because of the attitudes of some of our people.
“If you give information, calling them they will not pick, even when they hear their name they will not know
“So because of documentation a lot of people missed their flight; nobody was arrested.
“Everybody that had problem of technique with immigration we secured all of their release and other excise, and they all travelled.”
He said that the only people that did not travel were those who had issues with their documentation.
He also said that there were obstacles in the process, adding that there were hitches at one point or the other, but the mission solved every problem and everybody travelled.
The envoy explained that where there were cases of some been arrested the mission secured their release.
Especially one person who wanted to take the children that were not her own, the case was treated as the case of human trafficking.
“Once we called the father, he came and picked the children from the Airport and we allowed him to get the children,” he said.
He said there is no case of people not allowed to travel as alleged, saying those who did not travel were people who had one issue of documentation or the other.
“This is either with their children, children birth certificates cases or immigration policy, which you must have or somebody who did not have travel document for the child.
“Even when we have documented things they did not pick it up; so, nobody was arrested that did not get released.
“We want to agree to ensure that we have more than enough; we do not want more seats to be empty, so they have asked us to do our work properly.
“We are liaising with the authorities now too; we are putting up a joint meeting with the host immigration service and other protocol.
“So that we are all on the same page before the next excise, which is supposed to be tomorrow, but we are likely to do that on Saturday.
“The next batch of passengers will not be tomorrow, because we are not prepared for tomorrow, the proprietor has asked us but we want to finalize and send them to manifest.”
He said that the mission had not given them time, but once it finish it would give the required, which would only take them 24 hours.
He said that the mission would do its best to explain or to tell them to go, pending when it would be time for them to be able to come.
He, however, identified delay in the evacuation process of Nigerians wanting to from South Africa to be caused by misplacement of travel document required by South Africa immigration laws.
The envoy said, “Some will still tell you that they put their birth certificates inside bags that have been taken, despite the fact that they have been stolen and all that.
“Then others have issues of expired passport; they carry expired passport when told to carry passports that were authentic and they will not come up to say this is it”.
“We are to sort out these issues now, so that we will not lose space on the aircraft, but I am overwhelmed with the number of people that are here,
“Even those who registered this week think that they can go immediately and we say it is not possible.
“We are compiling names to be able to tell them our arrangement; we register over 100 every day, as we talk now they are over 1000, they are increasing every day.”