Xenophobia: First batch of 188 Nigerians return from South Africa
The chairman of Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, received the first batch of Nigerian returnees trapped by xenophobic attacks in South Africa.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the returnees were aided by the Federal Government with the assistance of a Nigerian carrier, Air Peace.
The B777 aircraft, with registration number 5N-BWI, which departed Thambo International Airport, Johannesburg, landed at the Cargo Wing of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos at 9.37 p.m on Wednesday, 12th, 2019.
According to TheNation, the returnees who expressed mixed emotions on their return, burst into tears as they alighted from the Air Peace Boeing 777 aircraft that flew them into Lagos.
The returnees included adults, children and infants, who expressed joy on returning home safely and sang the Nigerian National Anthem.
They were received by the Chairman of Nigeria Diaspora Commission, Mrs Abike Dabiri-Erewa, Air Peace Chairman, Mr Allen Onyema, and the representatives of government which included the National Emergency Management Agency(NEMA), Nigeria Immigration Service and the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria.
Dabiri-Erewa told newsmen that over 600 Nigerians had indicated interest to return from South Africa, adding that the government was ready to assist them to settle back in the country through its various social intervention programmes.
She said the Bank of Industry had also been mobilised to assist those willing to acquire vocational skills.
According to her, stipends will be given to these Nigerians to enable them get back to their respective states, while telecommunication company, MTN, will also give them pre-loaded Sim cards of N6, 000 to assist them.
Onyema told newsmen that the airline spent over N300 million to airlift the affected Nigerians in the bid to to support the Federal Government.
“We want to send a signal to the world that Nigerians are their brother’s keepers.
“I support the Federal Government and President Muhammadu Buhari and this gesture is an assistance to the government to bring our brothers back home.
“We are offering free trip to Nigerians in South Africa to return home after going through the traumatic experience of the attacks.
“Air Peace has said this is free and we are doing it in solidarity with the Federal Government,” Onyema said.