Xenophobia: Air Peace Boss — “I Cried”, Nigerians Slam FG, Returnees Sing National Anthem
There was mixed reaction yesterday night after some 187 returnees comprising men, women, and children who are part of the 640 Nigerians registered for evacuation following xenophobic attacks in South Africa arrived at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Ikeja, Lagos.
The chairman of Air Peace Airline, Chief Allen Ifechukwu Onyema narrated the effort he put in place to see the despaired Nigerians return safely to their fatherland.
Speaking, Chief Onyema said: “I put together over N280 million in other to bring these people back.
“Air Peace decided to bring them free of charge, nobody paid us a dime, we decided to do it free of charge for our country and for our people.”
“When I stepped inside the aircraft to welcome them, they mobbed me and started singing the Nigerian national anthem.
“There was nobody there singing about separation; they felt proud to be Nigerian, they rose in unison, that drew tears from me.”
Other Nigerians have also reacted in diverse manners.
The Chairman/CEO, Lagos State Government Wharf Landing Fee Collecting Authority, Mr. Joe Igbokwe said:
“We have our own country. Nigeria will overcome and South Africa will regret this.
“Welcome home my brothers and sisters.”
“Comrade Ozoemena Eze wrote:
“God bless you Ide Barrister Allen Ifechukwu Onyema! You have redefined the meaning of patriotism in Nigeria.
“You have use your God given wealth to serve humanity. God bless you Sir.
“You have proven to be world that they are still kind-hearted people, where Politics and diplomacy failed, you proved that humanity cannot fail!
“Welcome back home brothers and sisters, South Africa is now the land of Xenophobia!”
Reno Omokri wrote:
“Multiple chartered flights, paid by the Nigerian government, are leaving Nigeria almost on a daily basis to airlift pilgrims to Saudi Arabia.
“Yet, General Buhari could not divert just 1 to SA to airlift stranded Nigerians, affected by the xenophobic attacks, back home.
“It had to be done by AIr Peace, a private airline owned by an Igbo man.
“When I said that Buhari is not so concerned about the attacks, because the victims are mostly Igbo 5 percenters and not his favoured 97 percenters, some insulted me.
“Continue to hate truth. It is not me you are doing!”
Again Reno Omokri stated:
“The Nigerian Constitution says government exists for the protection of all Nigerians.
“Nigerians needed protection in South Africa, but it was a private firm, Air Peace, that evacuated Nigerians from South Africa.
“Who is more of a government between General Muhammadu Buhari and Air Peace?”
Meanwhile, the Nigerian returnees, upon arrival from South Africa at the Murtala Muhammed Airport, sang the national anthem to express their profound joy coming home alive.
They were captured in a video clip singing the national anthem with so much enthusiasm.
About 313 were billed to leave on Wednesday, but most of them could not travel with the first flight due to lack of or incomplete travel documents.
Watch video below: