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'I can't feed my family': Uncertain future as Nigerians leave SA after xenophobic violen

Nigerian nationals are being repatriated this week following a wave of xenophobic violence in SA. Families boarded buses in Johannesburg on September 11 2019.

Despite staring poverty in the face, four busloads of people who experienced xenophobic violence in Johannesburg left from the Nigerian consulate by bus in the morning, headed to OR Tambo International Airport as part of a repatriation process.

According to Al Jazeera's Fahmida Miller, at least 320 Nigerians are expected to be flown out on Wednesday afternoon.

Al Jazeera added that a "small group of people were turned back due to incorrect documentation".

Ben Okoli from the Nigerian Citizen Association SA (Nicasa) said most of the people who got on the buses had owned shops and businesses in SA for several years.

Okoli said they expressed a desire to leave after several threats to their lives and insecurity about their safety.

"Their means of livelihood have been completed destroyed," he said.

Nigerians in South Africa who want to escape any possibility of further violent attacks have been offered a free flight out of the country.

Busloads of Nigerians have said their final goodbyes to SA.

"I don’t think these ones who are leaving today are going to come back, because they actually expressed their desire to leave. They feel that they are no longer happy staying here after what they have experienced."

Although he could not confirm the exact number of people who left the consulate on Wednesday morning, Okoli said many were leaving with all their family members.

Four SA women were also on the last bus that departed.

More Nigerians are expected to leave in the next few days.

A Nigerian man who has been living in SA for several years expressed his concern to TimesLIVE.

"Imagine your family going home without concrete arrangements. I wonder how some of us must cope," said the man, who asked not to be named.

"The situation is very bad. At the end we can't afford to lose our lives for simply seeking greener pastures.

"This is simply criminality. There is no [other] way some would break into my shop and loot everything and attack us. I was not happy with what was happening. We can go, if they tell us to go."

Another man, a shop owner in Johannesburg, came to drop off his family members. He said he will be staying in SA for a few months before deciding whether to go home to Nigeria.

"My family back home in Nigeria is so worried. I just want my family to be secure and leave SA because of the way things are going. My shops and everything have been burnt down, so there is no way I can feed them now," he said.

He asked if the government would compensate people who had lost their stock and shops in the recent spate of looting and arson.

*This article was updated to clarify that the buses left from the consulate to travel to the airport in Johannesburg, where sponsored flights have been arranged to repatriate Nigerian nationals.

Via Timeslive

My view: Blame Buhari's government and his wicked predecessors for not introducing monthly Income Support for millions of jobless Nigerians, even now Buhari is still clueless on how to tackle poverty in Nigeria, also so called 'messiah' ex presidential candidate Abubakar Atiku didn't promise Income Support either, an ex vice-president that allegedly stole money that "is enough to feed 300million people for 400 years. Just think about how corrupt Nigerian politicians are, they only think about themselves and their families to be rich forever, they just don't care about inequality. For those going back to Nigeria from South Africa, it is your fundamental human right that Buhari's government provide food and shelter for you, as you're all refugees in your own country. If Buhari can travel to London for treatment then his heartless government can give jobless Nigerians monthly allowance.

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