The Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM) recently reported that 1,471 Nigerians who were stranded in Sudan have returned home safely.
The returnees arrived in seven batches with the first batch transported by a military jet, while the others were airlifted by commercial airlines including AirPeace, Tarco Air, MaxAir, and Azman Air.
The Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Dr. Nasir Gwarzo, along with other officials were present at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja to receive the returnees, most of whom were students.
According to the commission, no Nigerian life was lost during the evacuation process.
One of the returnees, Zainab Da’u, expressed her happiness to be back in Nigeria, and narrated her experience in Sudan. She described the crisis as frightening and said that she had to sleep on the floor for fear of bullets killing people on their beds.
Another returnee, Yusuf Bulama, thanked the Aliko Dangote Foundation (ADF) for supporting each returnee with a relief package of N100,000 and “dignity packs”. The returnees also received a mobile phone SIM card from MTN, containing N25,000 worth of airtime and 1.5 gigabyte data.
Gwarzo assured the returnees that those who were sick would be taken to clinics for proper check-up, before releasing them to go to their respective homes.
He also revealed that more stranded Nigerians would be brought back to the country in the coming days, and urged those who know any of their colleagues that were left behind to notify the authorities.
Meanwhile, a final year medical student in one of the universities in Sudan, Muhammad Nura-Bello, appealed to the Federal Government to provide schooling alternatives to returnee students to ensure their education continues.
Gwarzo assured the students that the government would look into their plight and provide necessary support.