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First batch of Nigerians arrive from Sudan

Photo: Chinasa Ossai/Radio Nigeria

The first batch of returnees from Sudan have arrived the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.

The returnees touched down onboard a Nigeria Airforce and Air peace Aircraft at about 11.35pm on Wednesday.

Receiving the evacuees at the Airport, the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Hajiya Sadiya Umar Farouq said 94 were flown in by the naval plane C130, while Air peace had 282 people on-board.

She said the federal government, through support from Dangote group had made available dignity parks and N100,000 stipends to take the evacuees home.

Also, the Federal Commissioner of National Commission for Refugees, Migrant and Internally Displaced Persons, Imaan Sulaiman Ibrahim, said there would be full rehabilitation supports for those in need of it and zonal programmes for evacuees that live outside the FCT to help their recovery process.

“We want to liaise with the foreign affairs, for the students, to see how they would be able to get some kind of support for those that were in school. as it was done in the case of Russian and Ukraine war,” she said

Some students, Amina and Saadatu Idris as well as a Businessman, Joseph Ebere who narrated their ordeal said they were happy to have returned alive although their studies and source of income have been cut short.

A parents of one of the evacuees, appreciated the federal government for bringing back the students and urged them to hasten the return of the remaining Nigerians in Sudan.

Photo: Chinasa Ossai/Radio Nigeria

The Director General of National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Mustapha Habib said the evacuation process was peculiar, because for the Agency had to go into the conflict country with supplies to bring back Nigerians.

“This time, we had to mobilise to bring people out from Kartoum to Aswan or Port Sudan and it is like two days journey. It is an experience we have never had before,” he said.

For the Chairman Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, Mrs. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, it was a huge relief to receive the returnees, bearing in mind the traumatised experience they went through in Sudan.

The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Dr. Nasir Sani-Gwarzo, the Sudan Ambassador to Nigeria, Mohamed Yousif Ibrahim Abdelmanna, security officials as well as some family members were at the General Aviation Terminal of the airport to receive the evacuees.

Reporting by Chinasa Ossai; Editing Muzha Kucha & Adeniyi Bakare