The Federal Government has said it will begin the evacuation of Nigerian students and its citizens from Sudan today, Tuesday, April 25.
Naija News reports that the Chairperson of the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM), Abike Dabiri-Erewa, made this known in an interview with BBC Africa on Monday.
The former House of Representatives member said the federal government has asked for a safe corridor for the evacuation of Nigerian students trapped in Sudan.
Dabiri-Erewa said the first batch of students would be transported by buses to the borders of Egypt before being airlifted to Nigeria.
He said: “We are hoping that by tomorrow, the first set of buses will be leaving Khartoum heading toward some borders in Cairo…to evacuate the first set to a safe place where we can now airlift them back home to Nigeria.
“So, I know that the National Association of Nigerian Students actually sent a message and told all of them come somewhere so we can pay some fees but that was a dangerous move so they’ve all returned back to base and there’s a contact from the Nigerian mission in Sudan where there will be coming to.
“So, as soon as the buses are ready, like I said, most likely by tomorrow morning, they will convey them safely and that is the keyword.”
Dabiri-Erewa stated that the evacuation process had been delayed because the federal government had yet to hear from Sudan’s army and the RSF for safe passage.
She said: “Now, here is the thing, why are we waiting? Because we must ensure that we get the permission of the military on both sides. Now, we have a large number of Nigerian students, we’re talking of thousands, nothing less than 3,500 that are stranded there so we’re conveying them in a whole lot of buses. Imagine seeing 10 buses without any security, you’re putting them in harm’s way. (thesouthafrican.com)
“So we want to ensure that there’s safety and security, so by tomorrow morning, we believe that they’ll now go en route to Egypt and get to two borders there and they’ll be in a safe location to return home.
“Our Ministry of Foreign Affairs has contacted both sides of the divide and we have asked for a safe corridor for our students and that means to give us security.”