According to reports, the first group of stranded Nigerians from Sudan arrived in Egypt on Thursday night.
This was confirmed by Abike Dabiri-Erewa, the chairman of the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM), in a tweet response.
She claims that the first group of buses carrying the people arrived in Aswan after the border had already been closed when they were supposed to leave early the next morning and travel to the airport.
“The first set has arrived at the Aswan border in Egypt but the border is already closed. They will leave early morning and then proceed to the airport,” Dabiri-Erewa noted.
Newsmen understands that the NiDCOM boss revealed this while replying to one [@owolabitaiwo] who said on the microblogging platform that there shouldn’t have been any problem after such bogus money was used for this emergency evacuation.
“We can’t spend $1.2mln on buses for a simple drive-through and have cases of abandonment anywhere.
It’s not head-off ooooh,” the citizen said.
On Wednesday morning, the Federal Government announced that $1.2 million (or around N560 million in Nigerian currency) had been used to transport Nigerians who were stuck in Sudan to secure locations via road.
After yesterday’s Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting, which was presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa in Abuja, the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Zubairu Dada, provided a status update on the evacuation process. He said that so far, no Nigerian had lost their lives in the conflict between military factions in Sudan.
“We are confident we shall not lose any life in this exercise to evacuate stranded Nigerians,” Dada said.
In order to receive the nearly 40 opulent buses carrying Nigerians who had traveled from the Sudanese capital, Khartoum, by road, Dada reported that the Director General of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and staff of the Nigerian commission in Egypt and Ethiopia are currently on the ground at the Egyptian border in Aswan.
The Minister continued by saying that the federal government has applauded the Saudi Arabian administration for helping to evacuate some Nigerians across the sea.
Speaking to reporters, Geoffrey Onyeama, the minister of foreign affairs, said that the procedure had begun after the federal government had overcome some obstacles. He added that it will take a few days to remove the trapped Nigerians.
He confirmed that the present endeavor to relocate them by road had already cost $1.2 million. Once they were safely relocated to Egypt, according to Onyeama, other arrangements would be made to have them airlifted back to Nigeria.
Women and children will be given priority over diplomats who were equally involved in the logistics of the evacuation, according to both Ministers.
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