Nigerian foreign minister calls for calm, patience in SA as 170 land in Lagos
Nigerian foreign affairs minister Geoffrey Onyeama has appealed to his countrymen in South Africa to remain calm and patient as his government tries to find solutions to recent xenophobic violence.
He said that all relevant stakeholders were in discussion to find permanent solutions to attacks on foreign nationals in South Africa, including against Nigerians.
Onyeama made these comments as his representative in Nigeria welcomed home the first group of Nigerians who took up the offer of the free flights out of South Africa. The flights were offered by Nigerian independent airline, Air Peace.
The 178 Nigerians arrived in Nigeria on Wednesday evening and were received by the acting director in the southern African affairs division, Chuks Chikezie Jonathan.
"The aircraft conveying them arrived at Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos, at 9.23pm on Wednesday September 11 2019," the Nigerian ministry said.
At least 12 people were killed in attacks on foreign businesses in Johannesburg and Pretoria in the past few weeks. Ten of those killed were South Africans.
Onyeama applauded Air Peace owner Allen Onyema for the offer of free flights for Nigerians out of South Africa. Onyeama said the second flight would happen soon, once necessary arrangements were made by Nigerian missions in South Africa.
LISTEN | Nigerians leave SA after xenophobic violence