Sudan crisis: Confusion as FG evacuates 2,987 Nigerians, not 5,500

As of Saturday afternoon, the Federal Government of Nigeria has successfully evacuated 637 Nigerian evacuees from war-torn Sudan back to the country.

A joint statement by the Federal Ministries for Foreign Affairs and Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development including a tweet from the Nigerian Diaspora Commission, NiDCOM, revealed this.

On Saturday, the ministries stated that while Azman Airlines and Max Air wait in neighboring Egypt to airlift some 850 remaining evacuees from Aswan, Egypt, “the Port Sudan evacuation exercise will continue until the remaining 1,500 Nigerians are taken from I return home safely and in good condition.” dignity.”

Based on the revealed figures, it means the federal government is aiming to evacuate just 2,987 stranded Nigerians from Sudan.

The figure contradicts what Nigerian Foreign Minister Geoffrey Onyeama had given less than two weeks ago on the total number of citizens waiting to be evacuated from the country.

When he appeared on the Channels Television show in April 2023, Onyeama revealed that there were about 5,500 Nigerians stranded in Sudan.

“They have given us the budget and all the details. They gave us a figure of 5,500 who are ready to evacuate.

“Obviously, what you need in a situation like this is a place where everyone can gather before you start moving them. Because the airports, as you pointed out in your report, are out of service. The only viable way out is by road. Of course, it is totally safe. So we want to require the government to provide some security and a safe corridor,” he said.

The federal government had also negotiated the sum of 1.2 million dollars for the buses contracted for the evacuation exercise from Sudan to the border with Egypt.

He had promised to get all “concerned Nigerians” out of the war zone in record time despite a group from a section of the country having claimed that its people had been abandoned, but the ministries vigorously debunked that allegation.

Upon arrival in Abuja, the returnees were provided with food and drinks, while temporary accommodation is provided for those in need.

“As part of its corporate social responsibility, the Dangote Foundation is supporting the evacuation exercise with survival kits and one hundred thousand Naira N100,000.00) as transportation fee for each returnee; while MTN provides each returnee with an accredited SIM card with N25,000.00 of airtime and 1.5 GB of data.

“The federal government remains steadfast in its commitment to ensure the safe return of all affected Nigerians,” the statement read in part on Saturday.

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