Published: Thu, September 05, 2019

Nigeria Encourages Citizens in South Africa to Return On Free Travel

Nigeria Encourages Citizens in South Africa to Return On Free Travel

"The Ministry of Foreign Affairs wishes to inform the general public that following the recent unfortunate xenophobic attacks on foreign nationals, including Nigerians in South Africa, the Proprietor of Air Peace Airlines Chief Allen Onyema, has volunteered to send an aircraft from Friday 6th September 2019 to evacuate Nigerians who wish to return to Nigeria free of charge".

However, he said the government was considering recalling its high commissioner to South Africa and demanding full compensation for Nigerian businesses that had been damaged.

At least five Africans have been killed this week in attacks on foreigners in South Africa.

South Africa has closed its embassy in Lagos after a spate of attacks on South African businesses in response to anti-foreigner violence in SA.

The personal assistant to Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has confirmed on Twitter that his government will not attend the World Economic Forum Africa being held in Cape Town this week.

Information Minister Lai Mohammed also warned in a statement that "targeting South African companies in Nigeria for attack was akin to cutting off ones nose to spite the face". South Africa was also in constant contact with Nigerian authorities.

I am sending a Special Envoy to President Ramaphosa to share our deep concern about the security of Nigerian lives and property in South Africa, and to ensure that the South African Government is doing everything within its power in this regard.

The move from FAZ to cancel the fixture in protest is probably more significant than it is now being given credit for as this is likely the first time a sporting event involving South Africa has been called off for political reasons since apartheid.

Police in the country has yet to pinpoint what triggered the violence, which began on Sunday, when protesters armed with makeshift weapons roamed the streets of Pretoria's business district, pelting shops with rocks and petrol bombs and running off with goods.

Some South African businesses operating in Nigeria, including MTN, have reportedly closed until further notice after being attacked. Police have made nearly 300 arrests, while people across the continent have protested and voiced their anger on social media.

The police in South Africa have said that the violence has subsided and almost 300 people had been arrested in connection with the trouble.

Abuja has repeatedly condemned the reprisals, which it insisted could only hurt Nigerians working in the affected firms.

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