South African immigrations frustrating evacuation of Nigerians
•As they demand for another round of documentation
Information reaching Tribune Online has just indicated that the early 9.00 am flight departure time of the evacuation of Nigerians caught up in the xenophobic crisis in South Africa by the Air Peace airline has suffered a deliberate delay in the hands of South Africans.
According to information gathered at the international wing of the Murtala Muhammed Airport, at the point of evacuating the Nigerians out of the Oliver Tambo International Airport, the South African immigrations are insisting on fresh documentation of the Nigerians.
The latest directives from the South African immigrations which is coming after the Nigerian High Commission in the foreign country in conjunction with Nigeria’s Controller General of Immigrations had vigorously prepared a new travel documents for the stranded Nigerians whose papers had earlier expired has been described as an attempt to further frustrate the federal government from evacuating its citizens out of the hostile country.
Many journalists including both foreign and local are laying surge to the hajj and cargo axis of the airport to cover the arrival of the stranded Nigerians.
Earlier, the Chairman/CEO, Nigeria in Diaspora Commission, Mrs Abike Dabiri-Erewa while addressing the media confirmed that the delay in the departure of the troubled Nigerians was due to the insistence of the South African immigration officials for fresh documentation of the Nigerians.
She, however, declared that 317 Nigerians are being expected back to the country through the Lagos airport.
According to her, out of the 317 Nigerians, 86 are females while the rest are males.
She, however, declared that the federal government’s Bank of Industry social intervention programme will be empowered by the skill acquisition programme of the BOI will integrate those of them willing to partake in it while each of the returnees will be given instant stipend on arrival to travel to meet their families.
As at the time of filing this report it remained uncertain when the Air Peace flight which left Nigeria for the xenophobic country 11.30 pm Tuesday will fly home the stranded Nigerians, as they remain at the mercy of the South Africans.