The flight conveying the second batch of Nigerians leaving South Africa over xenophobic attacks has departed the O.R Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg.
Kimibie Ebenfa, an official of the ministry of foreign affairs, said 319 persons were evacuated by Air Peace at about 2:58pm.
The returnees are expected to arrive at the Murtala Mohammed Airport by 6:58pm.
“We wish to inform you that the second batch of about 319 willing Nigerian returnees from South Africa has departed O. R. Tambo International Airport, Johannesburg, South Africa, today (Wednesday) at 14h:58 local time,” Ebenfa said.
“The returnees, who were airlifted by Air Peace Airline, are expected to arrive Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, today at about 18h:58 local time.”
The returnees were earlier scheduled to arrive in Nigeria by 8pm on Tuesday but an Air Peace aircraft detailed to evacuate them was denied landing permit by the South African government.
Godwin Adama, Nigeria’s consul-general in South Africa, later confirmed that the landing permit had been granted.
Abike Dabiri-Erewa, chairperson of Nigerians in the Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), had said 640 Nigerians had indicated interest to return home from South Africa.
The first batch had seen 187 people return to the country following President Muhammadu Buhari’s directive to evacuate Nigerians willing to leave the country.
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