A group of eminent Nigerians dedicated to peacebuilding and national development under the umbrellas of Center for Peace Reorientation and Human Development (CPRHD) otherwise known as Nigeria Peace Group, NPG, has called for renewed sense of patriotism among Nigerians in the wake of recent Xenophobic attacks in South Africa.
In a statement issued in Lagos, the president of the NPG, Ikem Ume-Ezeoke, also commended the gesture of the Chairman of Air Peace Nigeria, Chief Allen Onyema for evacuating Nigerian stranded in South Africa.
The group noted that for Air Peace Airline, to single-handedly airlift stranded Nigerians from South Africa, at no cost to the returnees, showed that there were still Nigerians with a deep sense of patriotism and the love of nation.
It said that the gesture was timely and should serve as a motivation for others to do likewise and through any channel.
It called on well-meaning Nigerians everywhere to show faith and volunteer more resources to enable Nigerians stranded in South Africa who wish to return to Nigeria to do so, while urging that same help be extended to those who have returned, to enable them settle back in quickly.
Calling on other well-meaning Nigerians to emulate the philanthropic act of Onyema, Ume-Ezeoke expressed confidence that if all Nigerians were to put their resources together, fellow citizens living in South Africa, would have the means to return back home safely.
He, therefore, called for a support system to be created for the returnees in such a way that it would make it easy and quick for them to re-integrate back into the Nigerian system.
The statement went further to commend the Nigeria government for maintaining what the group described as ‘diplomatic maturity’ in not allowing the issues emanating from the attacks on Nigerians to degenerate into greater crises and for quelling reprisal attacks on South African businesses in Nigeria.
It noted that the solution to the crises was not to escalate it but to find a peaceful means in ensuring that the situations were restored to normalcy so that citizens could return to normal lives again.
The statement read in part: “We the members of NPG are proud of the actions taken by the Chairman of Air Peace, Chief Allen Onyema, in evacuating Nigerians who were stranded in South Africa.
“We believe that this kind of gesture deserves mention because it goes to show that there are truly patriotic Nigerians out there. We, therefore, urge all well-meaning Nigerians everywhere to see the need and commit to supporting Nigerians who have been hit badly by this wave of Xenophobic attacks in South Africa.”