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Xenophobia: Nigerian Federal Government begins evacuation today, atmosphere tense in South Africa

The Nigerian Union South Africa on Tuesday said though some calm had been restored following a series of xenophobic attacks against for...


The Nigerian Union South Africa on Tuesday said though some calm had been restored following a series of xenophobic attacks against foreign nationals in South Africa, including Nigerians, there was still tension in the air.

The President of NUSA, Adetola Olubajo, who spoke to one of our correspondents in a telephone interview, said several foreign-owned businesses had remained closed for fear of resurgent attacks by South Africans.

Olubajo said, “The environment is calm but the atmosphere is still tense because the people that are fighting and looting always go on sporadic attacks; so people are very careful.

“South African businesses have opened but not all of the foreign-owned businesses have opened because there are some foreign nationals that are displaced and are in the city centre in Johannesburg.

“Most of their businesses have been looted and burnt so they need to start rebuilding.”


On the evacuation of Nigerians, he noted that the High Commission and consulate had given a figure of about 640 people who were scheduled to return, adding that the first batch of about 320 people would leave on Wednesday (today) around 9am.

Olubajo said, “We believe that more people will still show interest. We want the kind of gesture that has been shown by Air Peace to be extended by other well-meaning Nigerians or aviation operators because those that are willing to leave should be given the opportunity.”

Asked if other Nigerians who had opted to remain in South Africa were scared of more attacks, he said, “Yes, but we are getting assurances of safety from the South African authorities. Pretoria was handled very well. A visible police presence was in Pretoria; so it curbed attacks.

“But in Johannesburg, they have not been able to solve that. We hope that they will do what they have promised; to protect the lives and property of foreign nationals.”

We’re ready, says  Air Peace.

Domestic airline, Air Peace, says it is ready for the evacuation.

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