Five members of Akwa Ibom Indigenes Association in South Africa, affected by the recent xenophobic attacks in South Africa, have appealed to Akwa Ibom State Government for help.
President of the group, Mr Kingsley Ibokette, in a statement e-mailed to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) from Pretoria, South Africa on Sunday that the attacks unsettled many Nigerians and other Africans.
He said that five members of the Akwa Ibom Indigenes Association were badly hit by the attacks and called on the Federal Government to assist Nigerians affected by to re-settle.
“They lost virtually everything they had. Their houses were torched, lost businesses and means of livelihood and some want to go back home.
“We are in the process of registering them at the Nigerian Consulate to begin their journey home,’’ he said.
According to Ibokette, the association has assisted the victims within its capacity.
“We appeal to the Akwa Ibom Government and the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs to assist Akwa Ibom indigenes affected by the attacks.
“We have done the much we can to assist our people, but we believe that there is need for more assistance,’’ he said, adding that the victims needed the assistance urgently.
The association’s president commended Mr Allen Onyema, the Chief Executive Officer of Air Peace Airline for evacuating Nigerians from South Africa free of charge.
“Onyema’s gesture gave Nigerians in South Africa prestige and sense of belonging and I appeal to other Nigerians to assist returnees to resettle.
Ibokette said that one way of checking xenophobia is to tackle poverty and create jobs for the people. He said that there were many Nigerians doing well and contributing positively to the South African economy and other sectors”.