First Batch Of 376 Sudan Evacuees Arrive Nigeria

The Federal Government of Nigeria on Wednesday night received the first batch of evacuees from Sudan.

The evacuees were the first batch who arrived at the Argeen border last week Wednesday for airlifting in Aswan Egypt.

Information Nigeria had earlier reported that the evacuees experienced some delays due to some formalities issued by the Egyptian authorities.

The Air Peace plane arrived at 11:35 pm with 278 passengers while the Nigerian Air Force, NAF C130 arrived at 11:55 pm with 98 passengers on Wednesday night.

A Nigerian official in an audio sent to the Nigerian in the Diaspora Commission Situation Room on Wednesday, revealed the reasons for the delay.

The official explained, “Two aircraft, Air Peace and NAF C130, are supposed to airlift 350 passengers. Unfortunately, 26 additional persons sneaked into the buses.

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“The Egyptian personnel were there. They counted and they found 376 Nigerians. They refused the 26 people to stay back at the airport and they also refused to allow Nigerian officials to take the 26 people back to the border.

“Now, they want everyone to leave. Neither will they allow them to go back to the border. The only option is to overload the aircraft. The pilots were consulted and they said they could not airlift more people and have plenty of luggage.”

Abike Dabiri-Erewa, Chairman of Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, however expressed hope that those yet to arrive would be airlifted speedily.

She said, “Everyone is excited to receive them. We hope that those over there will come back speedily. We are expecting that with the arrangements made by NEMA, there are going to be more planes because Egypt makes it difficult.

“For stranded Nigerians at Port Sudan, they are trying to get tickets because it is even more difficult to get flights to Port Sudan. But they have an airline. They are processing it, and once they get tickets, they will come back home. If other airlines get the landed permits, they will quickly go and airlift stranded Nigerians. We are glad that no one lost his or her life. Priority was given to women and children.”