..praises AIR PEACE for being a good corporate citizen
The Buhari Media Organisation (BMO) has urged the government of South Africa not to further traumatise Nigerians wishing to leave South Africa with unnecessary immigration formalities or other bureaucratic bottlenecks.
In a statement signed by its Chairman Niyi Akinsiju and Secretary Cassidy Madueke, BMO commended the management of AirPeace Airline for their patriotism and selflessness by airlifting Nigerian victims of Xenophobia back to Nigeria, free of charge and at no cost to the Federal Government.
“We note that AirPeace has shown an example of how corporate bodies and citizens should respond whenever the need arises. The airline has proven to be a worthy and patriotic corporate organisation and we urge others to emulate it.
“We also applaud the show of patriotism by the evacuees who emotionally sang the Nigerian national anthem at the departure lounge in South Africa, and inside the aircraft, on their way back to their fatherland. This encomium is in appreciation of the efforts the Federal Government invested to address the latest xenophobic attacks on Nigerians.
“From their emotional reactions, it is obvious that contrary to the opinion in some quarters, the President Muhammadu Buhari administration was not only concerned about the plight of the victims, but that it made deliberate and proactive moves to guarantee their safety and well-being.
“We are delighted that the returnees appreciated the President for his citizen-focussed foreign policy which made it possible for the timely evacuation of our citizens from the dangers they faced in the unfortunate xenophobic attacks”.
The group, however, berated the South African authorities for frustrating the smooth return of Nigerians who had indicated their wish to return home. “We consider this an enemy action unbecoming of a country like South Africa which had benefitted greatly from the large-heartedness of Nigeria during the apartheid era.
“We celebrate, also, the decision of the Federal Government to swiftly and comprehensively reintegrate the returnees in the country by providing them with Bank of Industry loans to enable them to start businesses.
“This is aside from other incentives like free GSM telephone and telephone lines, N40, 000 worth of airtime and 9GB of data valid for two months. These positive measures are unprecedented in the history of Nigeria’s foreign policy as the President ensured that Nigerians in South Africa were not abandoned in their time of need”, the group added