Following the plan by the Federal Government in partnership with Air Peace Airline to evacuate Nigerians willing to return home due to the xenophobic attack in South Africa, only 187 out of the 313 scheduled to return today (Wednesday) arrived the Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos.
The returnees reportedly left OR Tambo International Airport, Johannesburg around 4:00 pm and arrived Nigeria around 9:34 pm.
A foreign affairs ministry official, Mr Kimiebi Ebenfa, who was on board the flight, confirmed their arrival.
He said, “We just landed safely despite the delays in South Africa.”
The returnees comprising men, women and children were the first batch of the 640 Nigerians who registered for evacuation following the xenophobic attacks in South Africa.
Ebenfa said the flight was originally scheduled for 10:00 a.m but was delayed by the slow check-in process and immigration clearance.
“Out of the 313 confirmed for the first batch, only 84 were cleared so far,” he said at 9:35 a.m before the flight took off around 4:00 p.m.
According to him, the flight was delayed due to the slow process of check-in and immigration clearance.
“There were also complaints of system failure.”