Chinedu Eze in Lagos and Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja
The federal government has revealed that Air Peace has volunteered to evacuate Nigerians who wish to return to Nigeria free of charge from South Africa starting from Friday, September 6, 2019, following the recent xenophobic attacks.
The spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affars, Ferdinand Nwonye, disclosed this in a statement issued last night.
He said, “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, September 6, 2019 to evacuate Nigerians who wish to return to Nigeria free of charge.
“The general public is hereby advised to inform their relatives in South Africa to take advantage of this laudable gesture. Interested Nigerians are therefore advised to liaise with the High Commission of Nigeria in Pretoria and the Consulate General of Nigeria in Johannesburg for further necessary arrangement.”
Air Peace said it offered to repatriate Nigerians back home as a sign of solidarity with the government of President Muhammadu Buhari.
Onyema made the announcement yesterday while sympathising with the Nigerian victims who lost their lives and property in the attacks.
According to him, the airline decided to bring back Nigerians in support of the action already taken by the federal government.
In a letter addressed to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, on September 4, 2019, which was sighted by THISDAY, Air Peace expressed readiness to evacuate Nigerians who are willing to leave the country.
The airline promised to dispatch its flights to Johannesburg once the arrangement has been completed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
“The xenophobic attacks on Nigerians in South Africa are an unfortunate incident and we cannot fold our hands and watch our fellow Nigerians be killed by South Africans.
“To this end, Air Peace is willing to support the Nigerian government’s effort in this matter by deploying our B777aircraft immediately to South Africa Nigerians back home,” the airlines said.