A second batch comprising of 315 returnees from South Africa landed at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport Ikeja, Lagos, yesterday (September 18).
The first batch which arrived last week were 187 in number, making it a total of 502 returnees in the last two weeks.
The returnees who arrived at exactly 7:21 pm comprised of men, women and some children, a ratio of 200 adults and 115 young ones.
Speaking, the Chairman of Air Peace Airline, Barrister Allen Onyema, said that his love for Nigeria made him convey the returnees without charging the Federal Government.
He noted that this is the first time in the world that a single individual would do evacuation all alone.
He promised that more evacuation will be made but adequate arrangements must be made for a seamless process.
According to him, the calm approach utilized by Nigeria in dealing with the xenophobic attack is what brought about the success recorded so far.
“It is the non-violent approach that Nigeria took that made South Africa start begging. This is because evacuating one’s nationals from another country will not encourage tourism into the country.” Onyema added.
Responding to the evacuation, Chairman, Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, Mrs. Abike Dabiri – Erewa said that she is happy that the Nigerians returned safely.
She appreciated the efforts of the Lagos State Government and organisations like MTN, Airtel, Bank of Industry (BOI), for their support throughout the evacuation, adding that other Nigerians, as well as NGOs, should join in the movement.
According to Mrs. Dabiri-Erewa, stipends ranging from N35, 000 to N40, 000 have given to the returnees to transport them to their different homes.
She also mentioned that there are arrangements for entrepreneur training skills for the returnees and also a channel for follow-ups and feedbacks.
Evacuation of returnees from South Africa began last week, after a series of xenophobic attacks meted on Nigerians and other black African nationals.
On September 9, 2019, President Muhammadu Buhari ordered the evacuation of Nigerians who are willing to return home from South Africa.