The voluntary effort by the Chairman of Air Peace Airlines, Chief Allen Onyema, to evacuate Nigerians from South Africa may be unsuccessful following revelations by one of President Muhammadu Buhari’s aides, Senator Babafemi Ojudu.
Nigeria’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs had in a statement by its spokesperson, had aniuncedthe planned flight.
It reads: “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, the Proprietor of Air Peace Airlines Chief Allen Onyema, has volunteered to send an aircraft from 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.”
However, Ojudu said on Facebook on Wednesday that some Nigerians he met in Johannesburg said they were not ready to return home.
He said they were unmoved by the xenophobic attacks on foreigners by South African mobs.
“I’m in SA (South Africa). I’m not sure Nigerians here are in a hurry to leave. I’m not also sure many see the need to leave. I visited a hospital here today and met many Nigerian doctors ad health workers.
“They are busy carrying out their duties. I was in Mandela Square and was served at a restaurant by two Nigerians. They didn’t express any anxiety ad neither did thru feel under any pressure to flee South Africa.”
He also took a photograph with one of the Nigerians.