The Ondo State Governor, Mr. Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, has presented cash gifts of N100,000 to each of the 20 South African returnees of Ondo State origin as part of activities to re-settle them in their various communities.
While presenting the cash gifts when he received some indigenes of the state that returned to Nigeria as a result of the xenophobic attacks in South Africa, Akeredolu also promised to give the necessary support and provide an enabling environment for them to start a new life.
The governor, who was represented by his deputy, Hon Agboola Ajayi, condemned the xenophobic attacks on Nigerians and other foreign nationals living in South Africa.
He described the unwarranted attacks as barbaric and condemnable which should be discouraged.
Akeredolu particularly charged the returnees not to be discouraged by what had happened to them but be ready to start a new life as they returned safely to Nigeria, their fatherland.
He assured them of his administration’s readiness to assist them in settling down in their various communities and ameliorate their present conditions.
The governor informed them that his administration has provided various windows of opportunities including youths and women empowerment, agricultural and entrepreneurship programmes, among several others.
He therefore advised them to avail themselves of any of them to better their lives.
He also charged the returnees not to be hostile with any foreigners around them so that African countries could be a better place for all.
Earlier, the Senior Special Assistant to the governor on Diaspora Affairs, Fola Olasehinde-Vincente, commended the state governor for his kind gesture and support given to the returnees to ensure they settle down peacefully and happily.
She equally admonished the returnees to strive to integrate properly back to the society and eschew all forms of crimes and criminalities.
Speaking at the event, some of the returnees including Jenty Edisemi and Sholanke Omolara appreciated the state government for the support, adding that their experience in South Africa was hell and very stressful.