Wednesday, June 7, 2023

Sudan Crisis: FG’s Evacuation Plans Deranged As More Nigerians Join Flight

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Plans to evacuate stranded Nigerians from the current political crisis raging in Sudan has just been interrupted as more Nigerians smuggled themselves into the flight, the Head, Media and Public Relations Unit NIDCOM, Abdur-Rahman Balogun, has disclosed.

Recall that the Federal Government had recently concluded plans to deploy an aircraft in the fleet of the Nigerian Air Force, NAF C-130H, for the evacuation of Nigerians that are currently stranded in Sudan following the political crises raging in the country.

A statement jointly signed by the Director Overseeing the Office of the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Janet Olisa, and the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Dr. Nasir Sani-Gwarzo, announced the resolution in a statement.

The statement said the NAF aircraft, which departed Abuja on Friday, has received clearance alongside Air Peace and other airlines to fly to Egypt to pick up the stranded Nigerians.

But, recent information reaching us indicates that the evacuation plans were delayed due to discrepancies between the number of Nigerians in the flight and that of the Manifest.

Read Also: Clashes Rock Sudan Truce As Top UN Official Arrives

More information revealed that two flights conveying the returnees departed Aswan, Egypt at about 4 pm and may touch down at Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, NAIA, at about 10 pm.

Balogun, who spoke to our correspondent over the phone on Wednesday evening, said: “There were discrepancies on the manifest, so they fished them out and they decided either to leave them behind or carry their luggage. So that one took them 2-4 hours to resolve. So they left around 4 pm or so. And there’s no way they would come back until 9 pm by my calculation.

READ ALSO: Sudan Crisis: More Than 430,000 Have Fled Homes – UN

“But, definitely two flights are coming tonight. Air Peace and NAF C130, are bringing about 376 passengers.”

Furthermore, our correspondents who visited the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport observed that parents, siblings, other security operatives, agents from National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, and other concerned bodies, were not seen around to receive the returnees.

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Photo Credit: Getty

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