UPDATED: South Africa grants Air Peace landing permit to evacuate 2nd batch of Nigerians

UPDATED: South Africa grants Air Peace landing permit to evacuate 2nd batch of Nigerians

- Another batch of Nigerians are expected back to the country from South Africa

- The voluntary evacuation is as a result of reported xenophobic attacks against Nigerians and their businesses

- Air Peace chairman said the delay was caused by South African authorities not granting landing permits

- However in a recent update, the South African authorities have granted permission for Air Peace to land

The scheduled evacuation of the second batch of Nigerians from South Africa which was reportedly delayed due to alleged frustration from South African authorities has now been resolved.

This Day had reported that the flight which was scheduled to leave Nigeria 1am on Tuesday, September 17 and arrive South Africa at 7am was denied landing permit by the South African authorities.

Allen Onyema, the chairman Air Peace, who volunteered to bring back the returnees had said they were hopeful the permit would be granted.

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He said: “We did not take off by 1:00am as scheduled because South African authorities are yet to give us landing permit. We are hopeful that they will give us the permit. Our crew waited till 3:00 am but when the permit did not come, they went back to the hotel. Once we get the permit we will set off to South Africa. We don’t want to speculate but we are hopeful they will give the permit.”

However in the latest update, the Nigeria’s Consul- General in Johannesburg, Godwin Adama, made the confirmation that the permit has been granted in a telephone interview with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday.

According to him, the South African authorities have granted landing permit to Air Peace Flight B777 to enable it to evacuate some 320 Nigerians escaping from xenophobia in that country.

Meanwhile, pro-democracy and civil rights advocacy group, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), asked President Muhammadu Buhari to reject any apology from the South African president, Cyril Ramphosa, over the incessant xenophobic attacks on Nigerians.

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HURIWA described the messages brought by the envoy of President Ramaphosa, as "cosmetic and a serious afterthought which can not stand for concrete and verifiable measures in real-time.”

This was contained in a statement sent to journalists on Monday, September 16 and signed by its the national coordinator Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko.

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The rights group stated that “so far there are no deterrent measures operational in South Africa strong enough to wade off further coordinated violent xenophobic crimes against other black Africans living in South Africa.”

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