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Nigerians To Be Evacuated From Sudan


Nigerians To Be Evacuated From Sudan

The National Emergency Management Agency, or NEMA, says that over 2,000 Nigerians will be evacuated from the crisis-stricken Sudan this morning.

This occurred on the same day that Air Peace’s management indicated its readiness to provide free evacuations for Nigerians stuck in the country in the Horn of Africa.

Abike Dabiri-Erewa, Chairman/CEO of the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, NIDCOM, also urged Nigerian students in the war-torn nation yesterday to stay at their universities in order to avoid harm.

Recall that the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffery Onyeama, had in an interview on Channels Television on Sunday night, said the only option remaining for Nigerians to be evacuated out of Sudan was through the land, as the airport in the capital, Khartoum, had been shut, adding that the federal government was working with the Egyptian authorities to make this possible but didn’t say when the evacuation would commence.

But speaking in an interview on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily yesterday, the Director, Special Duties, National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, Onimode Bandele, said:

“The truth is nobody has been evacuated yet. I just spoke to the ambassador, Olaniyan, in Khartoum a few minutes ago.

“It is true that there are plans to get buses to start moving tomorrow morning (today). And as I speak to you, the Director General, National Emergency Management Agency, Mustapha Habib, is already in Cairo because that is the window we are looking at.”

According to him, the movement is to be perfected between the Nigerian embassy in Khartoum and the NEMA director-general.

On how many Nigerians to be evacuated from the troubled country, Bandele stated that evacuation of a few thousand citizens was in the works.

“Our projection was that most students and others who want to evacuate are about 5,000. But with my discussion with the ambassador this morning (yesterday), the plan is for about 2,650-2,800 to move immediately, including families of embassy staff.

“As these plans continue, we’ll be able to update you with the actual figure and the exact time of departure from Khartoum to Cairo,” he said.

Air Peace seeks FG’s nod to evacuate Nigerians

Also, yesterday, the management of Air Peace declared its readiness to transport Nigerians stuck in Sudan for free.
The airline stated that should the federal government allow it permission to carry out the airlift, it would assist Nigerian students and other travelers stuck in Sudan.

In 2019, amid the height of the xenophobic onslaught against Africans living in South Africa, the airline sent out planes to evacuate Nigerians there.

Nigerians stuck in the crisis-ridden nation could be evacuated to a neighboring nation by Air Peace, according to Allen Onyema, chairman of the airline.

“I am compelled to help because Nigeria cannot afford to lose her citizens in that country. It would be my own commitment to make sure the stranded Nigerians in the war-torn country are safe.

“Everything must not be left for government alone, especially as the situation calls for urgency and immediate action.

“Again, Air Peace is willing to evacuate Nigerians stranded in Sudan free of charge, if government can get them to a safe and secure airport in any of the neighbouring countries bordering Sudan.

“Everything must not be left for government alone. It will be a privilege and honour of tremendous pride that we will be out there to give every Nigerian stranded in Sudan a sense of pride and oneness in their country.

“We are very ready to do it immediately, no time wasting. Any action that would promote national pride, national cohesion, peace and unity, we are for it.

‘’Again, we have no apologies for believing in our nation and loving the nation, despite certain national challenges.

“If they are moved to Kenya or Uganda or any other country, we will move in to get them out. Some parents have started calling on us to help. We are ready to do this again and again,’’ Onyema said.

Dabiri-Erewa urges Nigerian students to remain on campus

Meanwhile, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, the Chairman/CEO of the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, NIDCOM, yesterday advised Nigerian students in Sudan to stay at their universities to avoid harm.

Dabiri-Erewa, who spoke in an interview on Channels Television, said:

“The issue of those students that gathered together, took a bus somewhere, here’s the thing: they’ve all had to go back to their universities because it was very risky of them.

“Just imagine in a war situation, you just see 20 buses moving without any permission from the military authorities, we’ll endanger the lives. So, that is why they’ve had to return.”

The NIDCOM boss also cautioned against certain mobilisation efforts of the National Association of Nigeria Students, NANS, involving the pooling of funds to facilitate the transportation of Nigerian students in the North African country away from their campuses.

“NANS, which I understand came up with this thing of ‘pay $100, come somewhere, the thing is, move to where? So, there’s no point taking you from one danger to another danger.

“There were some people that were leaving, that actually had to turn back because they would have been killed. So, now, they’ve returned to their various campuses,” she said.

She explained that the Nigerian mission had informed the students of a point of connection where buses would convey them.

The most likely places, according to her, would be some borders in Egypt from where the students would be transported home by air.

Dabiri-Erewa argued that there had been “tremendous progress”, noting that every Nigerian student now had a point of contact.

She added: “Buses will take them to a location. We’re looking at places in Egypt – Luxor and some other places there.

‘’So, really, there’s been tremendous progress, Mr. President has given his nod immediately this happened, so there’s a lot.’’

More nations sent aircraft to Djibouti where they had begun evacuating their citizens back home, among them the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Japan, and Korea. Those that were trapped had already been flown to Djibouti.

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