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500 Nigerians evacuated to Egypt in 10 buses

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500 Nigerians
500 Nigerians

Thenationonlineng.net

Ten buses left Sudan for Egypt early yesterday with 500 Nigerians, from where they will be airlifted home by Air Peace.

Passengers were still boarding another 10 buses as of last night.

Two of the first 10 buses took off from El-Razy University, while eight picked up Nigerians from the African International University. Both in Khartoum.

The buses are among the 40 hired by the Federal Government.

The convoy was headed for Luxor and Aswan borders in Egypt.

Chairperson of the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), Mrs Abike Dabiri-Erewa, who provided the updates, said 13 fleeing Nigerians have arrived in Ethiopia.

Some of them, she said, have made personal arrangements to return to the country.

Mrs Dabiri-Erewa also tweeted: “As our students in Sudan queued up orderly to board their buses to Egypt en route to Nigeria, supervised by Nigerian mission officials in Sudan, let’s remember them in our prayers as they journey home. War is a terrible thing.”

The Federal Government said no Nigerian life had been lost so far in the war, adding that some have been evacuated by sea by the Saudi Arabian government.

Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, and his Minister of State, Zubairu Dada, briefed reporters after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting.

Dada said the government has secured permission from Sudan to evacuate Nigerians.

“The evacuation is being done in batches to ensure the safety of all Nigerians, but the good news is that no Nigerian life has been lost so far.

“All Nigerians are very safe and we’re very confident and hopeful that we shall not lose any Nigerian life Insha Allah in this exercise. All is well and we’re good to go.

“Some Nigerians have actually been evacuated by ship, I guess from Port Sudan, by the government of Saudi Arabia.

“Don’t forget, this is a joint effort. We have friendly nations that are ready to assist. From Jeddah, we’ll link up and find a way of bringing them back.”

Onyeama said the Director-General of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Muhammadu Muhammed, was in Egypt to coordinate the movement.

Onyeama confirmed that FEC approved $1.2 million for the evacuation exercise.

He said the amount will be spent on the hiring of luxury buses.

“We’re being charged $1.2 million for all the 40 buses. Because of the risks involved and so many other things, a lot of people are going to also take advantage.

“We saw that the French convoy was attacked. It was difficult procuring these buses. But we had to do it because lives matter to us.”

Fighting is continuing in parts of Sudan despite a 72-hour ceasefire.

The White House said the ceasefire should be extended to address the humanitarian crisis.

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