By Chinedu Eze
The management of Air Peace has said that it will evacuate the second batch of Nigerians from South Africa Tuesday.
The airline said the flight to Johannesburg would leave by 1:00 am Nigerian time on Tuesday, arrive the OR Tambo International Airport by 6:30 am, depart by 12:00 pm South African time and arrive Nigeria by 7:00 pm the same day.
This was confirmed by the Chairman and CEO of Air Peace, Allen Onyema, who said that the South African authorities wanted the flight to take off in the afternoon because the morning period is usually hectic at the airport.
Onyema also disclosed that out of over the 600 Nigerians that are willing to come home, 360 of them have been cleared for the evacuation, but the airline would airlift 320 in the second batch, which is the capacity of the aircraft, Boeing 777, that would be deployed for the flight.
There are also indications that despite the diplomatic efforts started by the South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa, to reach out to other African countries, including Nigeria, many Nigerians still want to leave the country because of the uncertainty and lack of assurance that the hostility could be stopped by the South African government.
Aliu Saheed, who returned to Nigeria with the Air Peace first flight on Wednesday, explained that the South African police could be overwhelmed by the violence, which has led to the death of many Nigerians and other Africans, noting that police might not be able to control the South Africans who unleash violence on other Africans, adding that: “I stayed in Pretoria city. I have been in South Africa for five years now. The police can’t control them (the killings by South African youths).
“They just come to an area and start shooting and killing innocent people. The police release rubber bullets at the perpetrators of the violence; and they won’t be affected because the bullets are rubber.
“The fire fighters came to quench the fire at some point but the taxi drivers chased them away. They kept bragging that there is nothing anyone can do since this is their country. They kill us the way they like. We are calling on our president to save Nigerians who are still in South Africa because they plan to kill them. As I speak to you now, they are not allowing Nigerians to work. They close all our shops as I speak to you.”
The Nigerian High Commission in South Africa said that it has been collaborating with Immigration to clear all Nigerians who wish to return to their country to be able to do so.