Lagos – After hours of waiting for the arrival of Nigerian returnees from South Africa, the first batch of 189 eventually landed at the Murtala Muhammed International – Airport (MMIA), Lagos Wednesday evening.
This is as some of the returnees claimed that Nigerians were killed in South Africa and thrown into pits.
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The Nigerian government had expected 320 returnees in the first batch with other 300 pencilled to arrive in the country on Thursday.
But, it was gathered that some dramas played out in South Africa as that country’s immigration service aborted the already taxiing aircraft of Air Peace to carry out another round of checks on the Nigerians.
The second round of checks on the already boarded returnees led to the stoppage of over 125 returnees from departing the country, despite their readiness to leave.
The Air Peace’s Boeing 777-300 with the registration number: 5N-BWI that was configured to airlift 350 passengers later departed South Africa with only 189 returnees.
The aircraft was scheduled to arrive in Nigeria at 2 pm but eventually touched down at 9:34 pm, while the returnees went through another round of profiting in the country.
Mrs.Abike Dabiri-Erewa, the Chairman, Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, in an interview with journalists, regretted the action of the South African Government.
She also confirmed that the South African authorities were uncooperative with the Nigerian Government, but insisted that Nigeria would continue to preach love.
According to her, the South African Immigration Service frustrated the Nigerians from departing their country by asking them a series of questions on their travel documents and how they got to South Africa.
She said: “South Africa is frustrating the Nigerian Government. Nigeria will continue to preach love and we hope South Africa will reciprocate that.
‘Even when the aircraft was taxiing to take off, the South African authorities still stopped the aircraft from taking off. They had to conduct another round of profiting on some of the boasted passengers.’
Some of the returnees lamented their ordeals in South Africa, insisting that some Nigerians were killed during the crisis.
A returnee, Mr. Aliyu Saheed from Osun State, debunked the claim in some quarters that no Nigerian was killed.
Saheed insisted that tens of Nigerians were murdered in the country and thrown into pits with the South African government doing nothing to stop them.
The post 189 Nigerians Return From South Africa, Others Were Stopped From Leaving appeared first on Independent Newspapers Nigeria.
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