…Missions say over 400 Nigerians ready for evacuation from S/Africa,
BY: Victoria Ojeme
The Nigerians leaving in South Africa, Sunday said they have not been ask by the South African Government to leave the country.
A source told Vanguard that the situation in South Africa is a bit calm.
According to him, ” We are monitoring the situation over here right now the police has taking control of the situation, we have also ask the Nigerians who have businesses there to close their business places for now.
“We cannot confirm exactly what’s on now except that police is dispersing a group of people who gathered earlier. No problems at the moment but police are everywhere around the area. The situation has improved.
“The Government of South Africa has not ask Nigerians to leave their country, it is the locals who are asking all foreigners to leave.
Meanwhile, The Nigerian Mission in South Africa has said that over 400 Nigerians have indicated interest and registered to be evacuated from South Africa following recent xenophobic attacks on Nigerians and their businesses.
The Nigeria Consul General in Johannesburg, Godwin Adama, said this in an interview with our reporter through telephone in Abuja on Sunday.
Air Peace has made offer to airlift those who are willing to return home from sequel to the attacks on Nigerians and their businesses by South African.
Adama said the first batch of Nigerians willing to return home would be repatriated on Wednesday.
”We have more than enough for that aircraft. Over 400 Nigerians already registered. More are still coming,” he said.
The Nigerian High Commissioner to South Africa, Kabiru Bala also said that Nigerians had responded positively in good numbers.
Bala said that the missions were equally responding to the needs of those willing to return especially those who had issues with their documents.
”We are documenting them. Those without travel documents, we shall provide them with Emergency Travel Certificates.
”There are other governmental procedures that we must observe. Relevant agencies of government in Nigeria must be informed and must be ready to receive the returnees.
”Hard work is now going on at the High Commission and Consulate in this regard .As soon as all procedures and relevant protocols are observed, the return is assured and guaranteed..
”A little more patience will be helpful. The response of Nigerians is just amazing,” Bala said.
President, Nigeria Citizens Association, South Africa (NICASA), Ben Okoli, said all efforts were geared towards evacuation of those who are ready to come back home.
Okoli said the figure of those ready to come was in hundreds as many have lost their means of livelihood and nothing to fall back on.
”’The Consulate is sorting out the issue of documents. Nigerians are been registered and issued with the necessary travel documents to enable them make the trip to Lagos.
”Some lost their passports in their homes and businesses from the fire that gutted it, while others had their documents and properties stolen by the locals,” he said.
The association he said was however still pushing ahead for the demand of compensation as there are sufficient available to them that the attacks were premeditated and ochestrise.
He also noted that normalcy was gradually returning, stressing that there was no longer tension, or violence against any set of people.
”The violence and hostility have ceased.
“So many Nigerian have however been affected by the crisis and lots have been highly distressed and nothing to fall back to.
So some of them affected have decided to call it a quit to go back to Nigeria.
“Presently, we are collating the data of Nigerians that are to be evacuated back to Nigeria because the first batch will be leaving some time early next week.
“Well we have it on a good record that they will be leaving on Wednesday.”
He commended President Muhammadu Buhari’s effort in sending special envoy to South Africa.
Okoli said they had been able to boost the moral of the Nigerian community in going about their normal business without fear of molestation or attacks.
”We have actually regain some strength knowing that our government is backing and supporting us, especially this time.
”So we are no longer afraid because we believe that so long we are doing the right thing and legal and food standing we have nothing to fear.
”We want to thank President Buhari for the steps he has taken. The special envoy did cone to us and push the case of Nigerians. We are very grateful and thank him for what he has done so far.
He also commended the gesture of the Management of Air Peace for offering to airlift Nigerians back home.