400 Nigerians to Return as S’Africans step up Attacks

Xenophobia

It was another bloody day on Sunday in South Africa’s xenophobic wave.

Protesters took to the streets demanding expulsion of foreigners.

One person died and five others were injured in clashes.

Hostel residents across the commercial hub of Johannesburg took to the streets to demand immediate deportation of foreigners.

It was not immediately clear whether the deceased was a South African or a foreigner. The identities of those injured were also not made public.

The police said they intervened early to prevent a clash of the xenophobic marchers with resistant foreigners.

About 400 Nigerians have indicated their intention to return home, most of them after losing their means of livelihood, Nigeria’s Consul General in Johannesburg Godwin Adama said yesterday.

The Nigerian High Commissioner in South Africa Kabiru Bala told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that documentation of those ready to return home had started.

He said: “We have more than enough for that aircraft. Over 400 Nigerians have already registered; more are still coming.

“We are documenting them. Those without travel documents, we shall provide them with Emergency Travel Certificates. There are other governmental procedures that we must observe. Relevant agencies of government in Nigeria must be informed and must be ready to receive the returnees.

“Hard work is now going on at the High Commission and Consulate in this regard. As soon as all procedures and relevant protocols are observed, the return is assured and guaranteed. A little more patience will be helpful. The response of Nigerians is just amazing.’’

Adama noted that Air Peace had offered to airlift those willing to return home.

According to him, the first batch of Nigerians who are willing to return home will be repatriated on Wednesday.

“We have more than enough for that aircraft. Over 400 Nigerians have already registered; more are still coming,’’ he said.

Bala said the mission was equally responding to the needs of those willing to return, especially those who had issues with their documents.

“We are documenting them. Those without travel documents, we shall provide them with Emergency Travel Certificates.

“There are other governmental procedures that we must observe.

Relevant agencies of government in Nigeria must be informed and must be ready to receive the returnees.

“Hard work is now going on at the High Commission and Consulate in this regard. As soon as all procedures and relevant protocols are observed, the return is assured and guaranteed.

“A little more patience will be helpful. The response of Nigerians is just amazing,’’ Bala said.

President, Nigeria Citizens Association, South Africa (NICASA),  Ben Okoli, said all efforts were geared towards evacuation of those who were ready to come back home.

Okoli said the figure of those ready to come was in hundreds as many had lost their means of livelihood and had nothing to fall back on.

“The Consulate is sorting out the issue of documents. Nigerians are being registered and issued with the necessary travel documents to enable them make the trip to Lagos.

“Some lost their passports in their homes and businesses from the fire that gutted it, while others had their documents and properties stolen by the locals,’’ he said.

The association, he said, was still pushing ahead with the demand for compensation as there was sufficient evidence available to them that the attacks were premeditated and orchestrated.

He also noted that normalcy was gradually returning, stressing that there was no longer tension, or violence against any set of people.

“The violence and hostility have ceased. Many Nigerians were, however, affected by the crisis and lots have been highly distressed with nothing to fall back on.

“So, some of those affected have decided to call it quits and go back to Nigeria.

“At present, we are collating the data of Nigerians that are to be evacuated back to Nigeria.

 

 

 

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