As at the time of filing this report, an official in South Africa states that of the 320 readied to be evacuated, only 182 have been allowed to board.
Air Peace flight, which left Nigeria 11:30 pm yesterday arrived OR Tambo International Airport, Johannesburg about 4:00 am and Nigerians have turned up for the airlift however information reaching Nigerianflightdeck is that the Nigerian High Commission had prepared travel documents for the evacuees but South African Immigration wanted to know how the Nigerians came into the country and began to arrest them, An official disclosed.
“South Africa is frustrating Nigeria. The Air Peace aircraft has been there since 4:00 am. Their Immigration started giving our High Commission problems. They said some Nigerians didn’t have papers. Immigration is arresting them, asking them to explain how they came to South Africa.
“About five minutes ago only 182 Nigerians were allowed to board the flight; they rest are being barred by South Africa Immigration. They are frustrating the Nigerian High Commission, taking the passengers away. They want to frustrate the airline and the Nigerian government. The aircraft has on, burning fuel since 4:00 am. They are not happy that Nigeria is evacuating its citizens. They don’t want the world to know that a Nigerian airline and Nigerian government is evacuating them.
“Our high Commission is having tough time with South African government. They are stopping and arresting Nigerians, saying they should explain how they came into the country,” the official said.
Air Peace said the evacuation of Nigerians from South Africa would cost the airline about N300 million, which include the payment of passenger service charge, aeronautical and other charges in addition to the cost of operation.