The federal government on Friday said it has successfully evacuated all Nigerians willing to return home from Sudan to Port Sudan for onward airlift to the country.
But the government said a mop-up team would be stationed in Sudan to mop up those who may come out with the intention to return home following the ongoing civil war in the country.
The development came as another batch of returnees numbering 130 arrived at Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport, Friday, on board B737-300 aircraft belonging to TARCO Airlines, by 3:45 pm. The evacuees, including 128 women and two men, were airlifted from Port Sudan.
They were received by top government officials including the Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Dr Nasir Sani-Gwarzo, the Director General of the National Emergency Management Agency, (NEMA) Habib Mustapha, officials of the National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons, (NCFRMI), the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM) among others.
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Dr Nasir Sani-Gwarzo, speaking at the airport, explained that one of the stranded Nigerians gave birth in Port Sudan. He said the mother and baby are in good health and will be evacuated as soon as the woman’s child is strong enough to make the flight.
He reiterated that Nigerians must not rely on mischievous and misleading posts on social media as the Federal Government is working round the clock to ensure that all Nigerians stranded in Sudan are evacuated.
He said that those without passports, due to the rush to avoid being killed, have been given forms to be filled by the Nigerian Mission in Sudan so that they can also be evacuated.
He said: “I am pleased to inform you that all Nigerians have been evacuated from the Egyptian border. We’re now operating from Port Sudan. More Nigerians are expected to be evacuated in the next few hours. In the flight today, 128 women with little children and two men were evacuated. We give priority to women.
“I will show you pictures and videos of the food we feed them. This will enable you to filter the information you see on social media. All the stranded Nigerians have been evacuated from Khartoum. More will be airlifted in the next few hours we remain committed to ensuring no one is left behind.”
Also speaking, the DG of NEMA, Habib Mustapha, said that the evacuees are already mentally distressed and should not be objects of ridicule on social media.
Nasir Sani-Gwarzo, who led a delegation to receive the returnees said all the people that arrived came from Port Sudan in the Republic of Sudan. He said more flights have been activated to mop up other stranded Nigerians.
“All stranded Nigerians that are willing to come back from Sudan have been evacuated to Port Sudan, awaiting airlifting.
“Nigerians that found their way to other borders like the Ethiopian border and the Saudi Arabia borders have been well received by the respective embassies. Possible arrangements are being made to bring them back home,” he added.