Xenophobia: 320 Nigerians to arrive Wednesday from South Africa

The first batch of 320 Nigerians for evacuation from South Africa aboard Air Peace Airlines is expected to arrive the Murtala Muhammed International Airport on Wednesday, Chairman of the airline Mr Allen Onyema has disclosed.

The returnees, Onyema said, will touch down at the cargo wing of the Lagos Airport in collaboration with the airport and other security agencies.

He said the first batch is part of the over 700 Nigerians so far captured to be brought back home by the indigenous carrier.

Speaking in a telephone interview in Lagos, Onyema said the carrier has secured the necessary approvals from the relevant aviation and other authorities in Nigeria and South Africa for the exercise.

He said the aircraft deployed for the operations and its crew will depart Nigeria Tuesday to return Wednesday in the afternoon.

The aircraft, he said, will return to South Africa Wednesday to return with other Nigerians that could not be accommodated in the first batch.

According to investigations, the cargo wing of the Lagos International Airport is already in preparatory mood to receive the returnees.

According to a source, officials of Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) and others are already on the alert for the operations.

Giving further details on the operations, Onyema said: “Air Peace is fully mobilised for the operations to return Nigerian stranded in South Africa.

“Our mission is a patriotic offer to support the government and save the lives of Nigerians. Our crew will depart Lagos on Tuesday and return with the first batch of 320 on Wednesday. It is going to be a back- to- back operations until the over 700 so far captured are air lifted home.”