Nigeria’s Consul General in Johannesburg, Godwin
Adama, has said that no Nigerian was arrested during the evacuation of
voluntary returnees following xenophobic attacks in South Africa.
In a telephone interview, Mr Adama told the News Agency of Nigeria on Friday that South African authorities did not detain any returnee on Wednesday.
About 187 Nigerians arrived on Wednesday night in
Lagos from South Africa aboard an Air Peace aircraft.
The consul general said many of the returnees missed the flights because of their uncoordinated attitudes.
He said the delay in the evacuation process was caused
by misplacement of travel documents as required by South African immigration
“Some will still tell you that they put their
documents inside bags that had been checked into the plane; some even said that
they had theirs stolen and all that,” Adama said.
“Then others have issues of expired passports. We did
not transport anybody on Thursday. We are waiting to prepare properly because
we lost some spaces in the aircraft on Wednesday due to the attitudes of some
of our people.
“If you give instructions, they will not follow; calling them, they will not pick; even when they hear their names, they will not respond. So, because of documentation, a lot of people missed the flight but nobody was detained.”
The envoy explained that some of the returnees were
interrogated by the immigration but the mission secured their release.
He added: “The next batch of passengers will not be
Friday because we are not prepared for that but we want to finalise and send
them the manifest.”