Xenophobia: Woman spends nights outside Nigerian consulate waiting for free flight

A Nigerian mother is spending her fourth day camping on the steps of the Nigerian Consulate in Sandton, South Africa, waiting for free ride to the airport, where she would board free ride provided by Air Peace.

The unnamed woman, holding a baby swaddled in layers of clothes, narrated that she had been living in South Africa for five years.

As reported by eNCA, a local TV station, the young mother had been sleeping at the Nigerian Consulate with her child, saying she had nowhere to go after her apartment had been razed by the rampaging xenophobic attackers.

The woman told eNCA, that she did not have any money of her own with which to rent another accommodation, hence her decision to camp on the steps of the Nigerian Consulate until the next flight.

About 600 Nigerians living in South Africa had agreed to return home after the Air Peace had offered to provide free flights on account of xenophobic attacks in which scores of Nigerians had been killed and their businesses ruined.

The first batch of returnees landed in Nigeria on Wednesday.

A second flight, scheduled to take off on Thursday, saw a number of delays; and it is currently unclear when the next flight to Nigeria will be.

Speaking on the steps of the consulate, while holding her young child, the woman said, “I’m leaving South Africa because of the fight [sic] and it affect my area a lot.

“They burnt all the shops, some houses and even my flat. They came there. So I just have to leave.”

She said she would wait there until there are enough buses to transport her to the airport.

The woman, who has been living in South Africa for five years now, says she doesn’t know if she’ll ever come back.

She’s hopeful that when she returns to Nigeria, her family will be able to help her.
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