The magnanimous and phenomenal decision of the leading Nigerian
commercial air liner – Air Peace to freely air lift Nigerians from South
Africa to escape the violent xenophic attacks has been described as the
true manifestation of the Nigerian core value of humanitarianism and
mercy in times of need.
Making the observations is the prominent civil Rights advocacy group –
HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) which has similarly
advocated the setting up of an economic restoration trust fund of N10
billion to be managed by credible Nigerian Statesmen/Women by the
Nigerian government and prominent multinational companies and wealthy
Nigerians so those Nigerians returning from South Africa can be
supported with financial assistance to be able to immediately resume
their legitimate businesses which have now been destroyed by black south
Africans. The Rights group said the donation of free air tickets and
planes to fly in Nigerians by Air Peace is also a vote of confidence on
President Muhammadu Buhari.
In a media statement in Abuja by the National coordinator Comrade
Emmanuel Onwubiko and the National media affairs Director Miss. Zainab
Yusuf, HURIWA described Air Peace as an excellent corporate
citizen/Ambassador of Nigeria and one of those companies that have
identified positively with the president Muhammadu Buhari’s
interventions to save the lives of Nigerians endangered by the widening
spectre of violent xenophobia in south Africa.
HURIWA also described the free air lift of Nigerians from south Africa
by Air Peace as the most practical steps of advancing the Right to life
of the Nigerian citizens enshrined in section 33(1) of the constitution
of the Federal Republic of Nigeria of 1999 (as amended).
The Rights group in the same vein has asked president Muhammadu Buhari
to confer a national honour to Air Peace on behalf of all Nigerians to
encourage the company to continue to implement pro-poor corporate social
responsibility and to motivate other Nigerian and multinational firms
doing legitimate businesses in the country to place the highest value to
the respect of the fundamental human rights of Nigerians. HURIWA said
generations yet unborn will remember this good gesture of Air Peace with
nostalgia and will similarly remember that the Country was under the
administration of President Muhammadu Buhari when a commercial air liner
called Air Peace came forward to offer free air lift of Nigerians who
are subjected to bloody violence by their hosts in South African
“The entire organized civil rights community received the news that Air
Peace has volunteered to send planes to freely air lift Nigerians to
escape the bloody attacks in South Africa. This show of solidarity with
president Buhari and the Nigerian people by the Air Peace commercial
company is a demonstration of the rare quality of hospitality and
excellent corporate social responsibility.”
HURIWA recalled that the Nigerian government had advised its citizens
to “inform their relatives in South Africa to take advantage” of a free
return trip to Nigeria.
HURIWA recalled that this is because Air Peace, a Nigerian airline,
volunteered to send an aircraft to South Africa to bring back Nigerians
willing to return.
This gesture of Air Peace HURIWA stated was announced by Ferdinand
Nwonye, the spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in a
statement on Thursday.
According to the Rights group: ” It is a notorious fact that many
Nigerians in South Africa have suffered from the latest xenophobic
attacks with many businesses destroyed and looted.Although at least five
people have been killed in the attacks targeting foreigners of African
descent, the Nigerian government has said no Nigerians were killed.
” HURIWA is well aware of the efforts being made by Nigerian government
to provide succpur jusy as we are aware that the minister of foreign
affairs, Geoffery Onyeama, said on Wednesday that Nigeria would not
‘cave in’ on its two demands from South Africa, which are compensation
for Nigerians whose properties were destroyed and provision of adequate
security for Nigerians in South Africa. We commend the government for
using the instrumentality of The foreign affairs ministry’s statement on
Wednesday to suggest that the government was encouraging Nigerians in
South Africa to return. The statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
that informed the general public that following the recent unfortunate
xenophobic attacks on foreign nationals, including Nigerians in South
Africa, the Proprietor of Air Peace Airlines Chief Allen Onyema, has
volunteered to send an aircraft from Friday 6th September 2019 to
evacuate Nigerians who wish to return to Nigeria free of charge remains
a phenomenal show of solidarity and the greatest manifestation of the
African cultural value system of hospitality and respect for the
sanctity of life.
HURIWA further recalled that it indeed was great that the general public
was clearly advised to inform their relatives in South Africa to take
advantage of this laudable gesture of Air Peace and return to Nigeria.
We join the government to say that Interested Nigerians are therefore
advised to liaise with the High Commission of Nigeria in Pretoria and
the Consulate General of Nigeria in Johannesburg for further necessary
HURIWA recalled that the Attacks: Recent xenophobic attacks targeting
Nigerians and other nationals in Johannesburg, Pretoria and other cities
have left at least five people dead and businesses and private
HURIWA recalled that South African authorities say they are responding
promptly to curb the violence. More than 70 persons have been reportedly
taken into custody since Monday.
Nigerians have expressed outrage about the attacks, urging President
Muhammadu Buhari to take decisive measures against South Africa.
The Nigerian president HURIWA recalled, announced on Tuesday that he was
sending a special envoy for an on-the-ground assessment of the
HURIWA stated also that on Wednesday, Nigeria said it would recall its
Ambassador to South Africa, Kabiru Bala.
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, who was also scheduled to attend the World
Economic Summit in Cape Town, has now boycotted the event.
HURIWA said the decision was salutary.