The Nigerian authorities in South Africa has arranged temporal travel certificates for most of those that had offered to return to Nigeria.
However, on Wednesday about 300 passengers took advantage of a free evacuation offer by local airline operator, Air Peace, due to the rising xenophobic attacks against fellow Africans. The airline’s evacuation plan had been delayed by lack of documentation of beneficiaries.
Also, President Muhammadu Buhari announced on Monday that his government had made arrangements for the immediate voluntary evacuation of all Nigerians.
Victor Isah, a beneficiary told the press: “Yeah, I’m happy anyway, because I’m going to my home, yeah. Despite the fact I couldn’t accomplish my mission here but I got to go so it’s better for me to go home alive than being a dead man.”
Another Nigerian bemoaned the incidents that led to deaths, looting and violent attacks: “They are just after robbing, stealing, stealing from us, we’re black, we are not telling them to steal from us, they steal from us, we are ok but what they (South Africans) are doing to us is not sharp, it’s not sharp bossa.”
In the latest outbreak of xenophobic violence in South Africa, deadly riots last week in Pretoria and Johannesburg killed at least 12 people and targeted foreign-owned businesses.