A delay in securing landing permit from South African aviation authorities for Air Peace has led to rescheduling the evacuation of the second batch of Nigerians from South Africa.
This is coming on the heels of xenophobic attacks on Nigerians and other Africans in South Africa.
In the second batch, 320 Nigerians were billed to arrive the country yesterday through the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos.
But the delay made the management of Air Peace to reschedule it till today.
Air Peace Chairman Allen Onyema said following the late approval for landing rights, the Boeing 777-300 departed Lagos for Johannesburg last night to arrive with the 320 Nigerians by noon today.
The businessman said the airline was committed to the project by following due process and laid down procedures set by South African authorities.
Southsouth National Leader and Convener of the Pan-Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF), Chief Edwin Clark, has advised the Federal Government to handle the relationship with the South African government with mature diplomacy.
The Ijaw leader was responding to the visit of the South African Special Envoy sent by President Cyril Ramaphosa to convey his country’s apologies to the Nigerian government and people over the recent xenophobic attacks.
Many Nigerian in South Africa were said to have died while others lost property estimated at millions of dollars.
Clark noted that the South African government had taken the first right step by sending its representatives with an apology message.
The elder statesman said to ask for further show of commitment from South Africa in the form of compensation for losses incurred during the attacks would not be wrong but it should not be done alone by Nigeria.
According to him, the relationship with South Africa and the response to the harsh treatments meted out to Nigerians in the country should be treated with guided diplomacy.
Clark said there are still many Nigerian citizens still resident in South Africa, adding that Nigeria should rather make the South African government show faith to its promise to eradicate xenophobia and discrimination in the country.