In a quite astounding turn of events, a Nigerian airline is now offering free flights home to their citizens who are currently residing in South Africa, due to a spate of xenophobic attacks in this country. Air Peace will be sending an aircraft to Gauteng on Friday, in a bid to bring hundreds of immigrants back home.
This isn’t just a piece of opportunistic grandstanding, however. Air Peace have the full support of the Nigerian government, too. Their Foreign Affairs Department issued a statement on the matter late on Wednesday night, confirming that panicked Nigerians in South Africa could solicit a free flight back to their country of birth.
Air Peace: How can Nigerians fly home from South Africa for free?
According to the communication, Nigerians in Gauteng must communicate with either the High Commission in Pretoria or the Consulate General in Johannesburg, in order to secure a flight home on Friday.
The migrants essentially have one day to decide whether they should flee or stay put if they want to make the first available journey, but it is understood that Air Peace will send more flights to South Africa later this month to help get the victims of these xenophobic attacks out of Mzansi:
“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs wishes to inform the general public that following the recent unfortunate xenophobic attacks on foreign nationals, including Nigerians in South Africa, Air Peace has volunteered to send an aircraft on Friday 6th September 2019 to evacuate Nigerians who wish to return to Nigeria free of charge.”
”The general public is hereby advised to inform their relatives in South Africa to take advantage of this laudable gesture. Interested Nigerians are therefore advised to liaise with the High Commission of Nigeria in Pretoria and the Consulate General of Nigeria in Johannesburg for further necessary arrangement.”
Nigeria’s Foreign Affairs Department
Nigeria – South Africa tensions and xenophobic attacks: High Commissioner recalled
Although, the people who decide to apply for the flight home with the High Commission won’t get an audience with the top diplomat there. President Muhammadu Buhari made the sensational decision to recall Kabiru Bala on Wednesday evening, citing security concerns for his office.
Bala, Nigeria’s High Commissioner, will now return back to Lagos alongside a special envoy Buhari sent to South Africa on Monday. The delegation have boycotted the World Economic Forum in Cape Town this week, in protest of the violence and looting which targeted foreign business owners in Gauteng.