ABOUT 319 Nigerians fleeing xenophobic attacks from South Africa yesterday arrived Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, at around 3:00 p.m. local time.
They departed Oliver R. Tambo International Airport, Johannesburg on board an Air Peace aircraft as the second batch of evacuees the airline has promised to bring back free of charge.
This brings the number of Nigerians that have been successfully airlifted to 506 people following the return of 187 out of 313 scheduled for evacuation last week’s Wednesday. An official of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Kimiebi Ebenfa, confirmed this via a WhatsApp message.
“We wish to inform you that the second batch of about 319 willing Nigerian returnees from South Africa has departed O. R. Tambo International Airport, Johannesburg, South Africa, today (Wednesday) at 14h:58 local time. The returnees, who were airlifted by Air Peace Airline, are expected to arrive Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, today at about 18h:58 local time,” Ebenfa said.
Consul-General of Nigerian High Commission in South Africa, Godwin Adama, had disclosed that the number of registered Nigerians had risen to 1,004 but diplomatic grey areas yet to be solved are bringing some hitches in the travel evacuation plans. This spikes the number of 817 Nigerians earlier slated for evacuation from South Africa.