Private airline operator, Air Peace has offered to convey Nigerians in South Africa back to their home country, without any charge. According to a statement released yesterday, the carrier has volunteered to send an aircraft from Friday, September 6 to interested Nigerians residing in the southern African nation.
“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 arrangements,” the statement read.
Over the years, Nigerians and other African citizens living in South Africa have faced growing sentiments in the country. In the last few weeks, there have been incessant social media complaints, videos and images of Nigerians unduly tortured and burned in the country.
The loss of lives and properties has led citizens in Nigeria commensurate with their compatriots in the diaspora. While some in the country have retaliated, expressing their anger by attacking South African-owned businesses operating in Nigeria. As far as the protesters are concerned, there was no need enriching a country that couldn’t see to the welfare of its own nationals.
As a result of this violence, South Africa has closed its embassy in Nigeria temporarily following these retaliations.
Because of the rapidly deteriorating issue, Nigeria has equally had to make crucial decisions towards these situations. According to reports, the government has made a decision to boycott the World Economic Forum (WEF) this week over the attacks.
President Muhammadu Buhari has reportedly asked Kabiru Bala, Nigeria’s High Commissioner to South Africa to return alongside other delegates. Meanwhile, Nigerian entertainers and musicians like Burna Boy and Tiwa savage have cancelled their scheduled appointments in South Africa.
Also, Ventures Africa had earlier reported that the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) gave a seven-day ultimatum to the telecom giant, MTN, and other South African establishments to leave the country following this incident.
Nigeria’s foreign affairs ministry has advised citizens in South Africa to avoid certain volatile areas until peace is restored. And until a more lasting solution is provided, diplomatic ties between the two countries may be strained and business investments might equally be interrupted.