The association also said it is however still pushing ahead for the demand of compensation for victims of the attacks.
The evacuation of Nigerians in South Africa will commence on Wednesday, it has been learnt.Air Peace has made an offer to airlift those who are willing to return home following the recent attacks on Nigerians and their businesses by South African.
Prince Ben Okoli, president, Nigeria Citizens Association, South Africa (NICASA) said all efforts are geared towards evacuation of those who are ready to come back home.
Though he was unable to put figure to the number of affected Nigerians, Okoli however said the figure is in hundreds as many have lost their means of livelihood and nothing to fall back to.
The association, he said is however still pushing ahead for the demand of compensation as there are sufficient available to them that the attacks were premeditated and orchestrate.
He also noted that normalcy is gradually returning, there is no longer tension, or violence against any set of people. The violence and hostility have ceased.
“So many Nigerian have been affected by this and lots have been highly distressed and nothing to fall back to. So some of them affected have decided to call it quit to go back to Nigeria.
“Presently, we are collating the data of Nigerians that are to be evacuated back to Nigeria because the first batch will be leaving sometime early next week.
“Well we have it on a good record that they will be leaving on Wednesday.”
On compensation, he said that the South African Government has remained adamant, they have not acknowledge it as xenophobia. They continue to call it criminality and we do not understand why they continue to push the narrative of criminality since it is very obvious and plain and simple for even illustrates to understand that this is purely xenophobic. So in the area of compensation, like their President had said that they are not going to give compensation but we are going to push for that because we have a good ground for compensation because these attacks against our people were uncalled for and totally unprovoked. We look at it as an attack that as something that was orchestrated, we are not actually pointing a figure at an individual or a group but of complicity. Those are the areas that our legal advisers are looking at.”
He maintained that the union was going to see the agitation for compensation to its logical conclusion as the people have worked very hard to establish themselves and suddenly, their hard work for sixteen to eighteen years destroyed overnight and that is something that is not acceptable to us as a community.”
On role of the President Muhammadu Buhari’s special envoy, Okoli said they have been able to boost the moral of the Nigerian community in going about their normal business without fear of molestation or attacks.
We have actually regained some strength knowing that our government is backing and supporting us, especially this time. So we are no longer afraid because we believe that so long we are doing the right thing and legal and food standing we have nothing to fear.
We want to thank President Buhari for the steps he has taken. The special envoy did cone to us and push the case of Nigerians. We are very grateful and that k him for what he has done so far.
He also commended the gesture of the Management of Air Peace for offering to airlift Nigerians back home.