The Nigerian governmnet says no fewer than 319 Nigerians will be evacuated from South Africa on Tuesday as part of response to xenophobic attacks on African migrants in the country, especially Nigerians.
The Chairman, Nigerians in the Diaspora Commission, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, explained that the list of passengers was being updated.
She said that the necessary travel documents would be given to the intending returnees and other immigration issues addressed to ensure a smooth evacuation process.
She noted, “We are still looking at 319. We have 319 registered for the next flight, but the list is still being updated. For the flight, we are looking at Tuesday or Wednesday so that proper documentation would be done. We don’t want a situation where the plane will return half-empty with few passengers.”
The Federal Government had on Wednesday evacuated 187 Nigerians from South Africa.
The Wednesday flight was delayed by hitches introduced by South African officials, who insisted that some of the evacuated Nigerians did not have travel documents.
The 187 returnees were the first batch of the 640 Nigerians, who registered for evacuation following the xenophobic attacks. They arrived at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos at 9:34pm on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, the President of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa, on Sunday sent three officials to President Muhammadu Buhari and heads of six other African countries to deliver messages of solidarity to them over the xenophobic attacks in his country.
A statement on the verified twitter page of the Presidency of South Africa, @PresidencyZA, on Sunday said the team, comprising Mr Jeff Radebe, Ambassador Kingsley Mmabolo and Dr Khulu Mbatha, would also visit Niger Republic, Ghana, Senegal, Tanzania, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Zambia.
The statement noted that the envoys had begun their assignment on Saturday and had departed South Africa to deliver the messages.
Many Africans migrant, including Nigerians living in South Africa, had come under xenophobic attack with about 12 persons were reportedly killed in the latest attack. Businesses belonging to foreigners were destroyed in and around Johannesburg, the country’s largest city.