About 178 Nigerians arrived the Murtala Muhammed airport in Lagos by 9.23 p.m. in the first wave of evacuations in the aftermath of xenophobic attacks in South Africa.
PREMIUM TIMES reported how Air Peace, a Nigerian airline, offered to evacuate Nigerians after several Nigerian businesses and nationals were attacked in the xenophobic attacks.
The incident led to a diplomatic row between the two biggest African economies.
PREMIUM TIMES learnt that initially, 313 Nigerians were expected but due to a delay in the process of checking in and clearance by immigration, only 178 were confirmed on board and ready to depart for Lagos.
Meanwhile, Geoffrey Onyeama, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, commended the management of Air Peace for the successful evacuation of the first batch of willing Nigerians from Johannesburg, South Africa.
Proprietor of Air Peace, Allen Onyema, was also commended for the laudable initiative.
The minister also promised that “the second batch of the evacuation exercise will commence soonest after working out necessary modalities with the Nigerian mission in South Africa.”
He further appealed to Nigerians in South Africa to remain calm and patient as the federal government is “engaging relevant stakeholders towards finding permanent measures to the unfortunate xenophobic attacks on Nigerians”.