The Ministries of Foreign Affairs and that of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development have confirmed that the first batch of 13 buses conveying 637 stranded Nigerian students, has arrived Aswan borders, Egypt, safely.
According to the ministries, the necessary documentation and clearance before admission into the Egyptian territory for their eventual evacuation to Nigeria are in progress.
A statement by the permanent secretaries of the ministries indicated that movement of the second batch of 29 buses commenced last Saturday, April 29, 2023; urging evacuees to be at the designated locations with only one luggage. It added that contrary to insinuations in the social media, embassy staff were on ground in Khartoum to coordinate the evacuation exercise.
They advised students and other Nigerians awaiting evacuation from Khartoum, Sudan, to co-operate with them in order to ensure orderliness and proper documentation while embarking on the buses.
The ministries said that the outcry over the negotiated sum of $1.2 million for the buses hired for the exercise was uncalled for, explaining that the said amount, was negotiated in a condition of war, where there were competing demands for same bus services by other countries trying to evacuate their citizens.
The first batch of Nigerian evacuees who have arrived Aswan, are expected to be airlifted back home in the coming hours by the Nigerian Air Force and Air Peace which had been on standby for the operations.
Nigeria’s ambassador to Sudan assures parents, students
Meanwhile, the Nigerian Ambassador to the Republic of Sudan, Safiu Olaniyan, has assured parents and students that the Embassy officials were fully on ground in Khartoum and shared in the challenges from the war with all Nigerians affected by it. He also urged the evacuees not to take any action against the embassy officers as had earlier been speculated, noting that no official was leaving the country until the last Nigerian had been evacuated.
Olaniyan in a voice message sent through the Nigerian Diaspora Commission, NIDCOM, stated that a security clearance was what was needed for those at the borders of Sudan to move to Egyptian borders, stressing that all that needed to be contacted had been reached.