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‘It’ll be a privilege’ — Air Peace offers to evacuate Nigerians stranded in Sudan for free

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Allen Onyema, the chairman of Air Peace, says the airline is willing to evacuate Nigerians stranded in war-torn Sudan for free.

Violent clashes between Sudan’s army and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), a paramilitary group, have killed over 270 people.

Thousands of civilians have fled Khartoum, Sudan’s capital, with foreign nations making efforts to evacuate their citizens.

In a statement on Monday, Onyema expressed his desire to help, as Nigeria cannot afford to lose its citizens in Sudan.

The aviation mogul said if Nigerians in the North-East African region could be moved to a neigbouring country, the airline would fly there and evacuate them, as Sudan’s airspace is closed for civil aviation flights.

“I am compelled to help because Nigeria cannot afford to lose her citizens in that country. It would be my own commitment to making sure that the stranded Nigerians in the war-torn country are safe,” Onyema said.

“Everything must not be left for the government alone, especially as the situation calls for urgency and immediate action.

“Again, Air Peace is willing to evacuate Nigerians stranded in Sudan free of charge, if the government can get them to a safe and secure airport in any of the neighbouring countries bordering Sudan.

“It will be a privilege and honour of tremendous pride that we will be out there to give every Nigerian stranded in Sudan a sense of pride and oneness in their country.

“We are very ready to do it immediately. No time wasting. Any action that would promote national pride, national cohesion, peace and unity, we are for it.

“Again, we have no apologies for believing in our nation and loving the nation despite certain national challenges.

“If they are moved to Kenya or Uganda or any other country, we will move in to get them out. Some parents have started calling on us to help. We are ready to do this again and again.”

Geoffrey Onyeama, minister of foreign affairs, had said the federal government was working assiduously to ensure the safe evacuation of Nigerians in Sudan.

He said about 5,500 Nigerians are in Sudan and over 80 percent of them are students.

The minister said the major goal was to get the approval of the Sudanese government to undertake the long convoy and also provide security.

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