The Nigerian Union in South Africa has commended the proprietor of Air Peace Airline, Chief Allen Onyema, for donating an aircraft to evacuate Nigerians with intention of returning home from South Africa.
The union in a statement on Saturday said the gesture is an indication that Nigerians can be one another’s keeper in times of crisis as it urged other Nigerian philanthropists to follow in the steps of Chief Onyema.
The union on Saturday noted that the gesture came in the wake of the recent xenophobic attacks that swept across parts of the former apartheid enclave recently leading to loss of properties and lives.
“The gesture is a show of patriotism; we hope other well-meaning Nigerian stakeholders will emulate it to help give succour to the victims of the attacks,” the union’s Publicity Secretary, Habib Miller, said in a statement e-mailed to the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos.
He added: “Mr Onyema’s benevolence is an indication that we can be our brother’s keeper in trying times and we implore other Nigerian philanthropists and business executives to follow suit so that our returning compatriots can be reintegrated into our country conveniently.
“We also urge our people to follow the guidelines spelt out by the Foreign Affairs Ministry to benefit from Air Peace Airline’s Free Evacuation programme.
“This is to avoid being bamboozled by unscrupulous individuals claiming to be officials of any organisation who may attempt to extort money from them.”
It said that “lastly, we wish to convey our heartfelt commiseration to victims affected and urge the Nigerian government to work with its South African counterpart in devising a proposal to eradicate this xenophobic phenomenon with the aim of preventing more colossal losses in future”.