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NEMA Confirms Plans To Evacuate Over 2,000 Nigerians Through Cairo On Tuesday, As Air Peace Assures Of Readiness To Evacuate Nigerians
The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has confirmed plans to evacuate over 2,000 Nigerians in crisis-hit Sudan on Tuesday morning.
“The truth is nobody has been evacuated yet. I just spoke to the ambassador Olaniyan in Khartoum a few minutes ago,” the agency’s Director, Special Duties, Onimode Bandele, said during a live appearance Monday on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily.
“It is true that there are plans to get buses to start moving tomorrow morning. And as I speak to you, the Director General, National Emergency Management Agency, Mustapha Habib, is already in Cairo because that is the window that we are looking at.”
According to him, the movement is to be perfected between the Nigerian embassy in Khartoum and the NEMA director general.
Asked how many Nigerians to be removed from the troubled North African country, Bandele stated that evacuation of a few thousand citizens are 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, 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.
Seeking Sudanese Authorisation
Foreign Affairs Minister Geoffrey Onyeama, on Sunday, put the number of Nigerians in Sudan at 5,500.
He disclosed that out of the number, 80 percent of them are students, adding that some countries had only evacuated their diplomatic staff and not all of their citizens as speculated online.
Onyeama urged Nigerians in the crisis-torn country to “stay where you are” before the evacuation begins.
“Essentially, where we are at the moment is trying to get authorisation from the Sudanese government to undertake this long convoy journey and for them to provide some security,” he added.
We’re ready to evacuate Nigerians stranded in Sudan – Air Peace
Nigeria’s largest domestic airline, Air Peace, has expressed its willingness to evacuate Nigerians stranded in Sudan, free of charge.
This is coming against the backdrop of the uprising currently ongoing in the North-East Africa country.
The airline noted that Nigerian students and others stranded in the war racked nation needs our help.
It would be recalled that the airline in 2019 deployed flights to evacuate Nigerians in South Africa during the heat of the xenophobic attack against Africans living in that country. A development that threatened the lives of Nigerians.
However, the Chairman of Air Peace, Allen Onyema stated that Nigerians could be moved to a neigbouring country the airline would fly there and evacuate them, as Sudan’s airspace is closed from civil aviation flights.
In his word: “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 that 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 and 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.”
Contents provided and/or opinions expressed here do not reflect the opinions of The Pacesetter Frontier Magazine or any employee thereof.
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