Hundreds Of Nigerians Take Free Flight Offer To Leave South Africa And Head Home

Riyaz Patel

The Nigerian government will not offer financial help to hundreds of citizens who are set to return to the country following a wave of xenophobic violence in South Africa, chair of the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, Abike Dabiri said.

Nigerian nationals gathered outside their country’s consulate in Illovo Wednesday to board airport-bound buses so that they could return home.

Three buses left in the morning.

Privately-owned Nigerian airline Air Peace had offered free flights for people wishing to leave South Africa after attacks on mostly African migrants.

Twelve people, including ten South Africans and two foreign nationals, have killed as mobs attacked foreign-owned businesses.

Hundreds have been displaced in the violence which began over a week ago.

It expected that more than 600 Nigerians will return in the coming days, the chair of the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, Abike Dabiri, told reporters in Nigeria.

She said the country’s mission in South Africa would continue to offer emergency travel certificates to any Nigerians whose documents have expired.

Romanus Okoroigbo from the Nigerian Citizen Association of South Africa said anyone born in Nigeria would be allowed onto the plane, EWN reported.

“Nobody is hindered from going home [and] we are ready to go,” Okoroigbo said.

He said more flights were being scheduled for next week following calls for Nigerians to leave SA.

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