The ongoing power tussle in Sudan has left many Nigerians stranded in the North African country, leading to urgent calls for their evacuation. According to Foreign Affairs Minister Geoffrey Onyeama, plans are underway to evacuate these citizens by road.
In a recent interview on Channels Television’s Sunday Politics, Onyeama explained that it was not possible to evacuate those stranded by air.
This announcement comes on the heels of a statement from the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in Khartoum, signed by the Charge D’ Affairs H.Y Garko, urging students, who make up 80 percent of those stranded, to remain indoors due to the ongoing crisis.
“We have been given the cost estimate and all the details. They gave us a figure of 5,500 who are ready for evacuation. Obviously, what you need in a situation like this is a place where everybody can congregate before you start moving them out. Because the airports, as you pointed out in your report, it is out of commission. The only viable way out is by road.
“But of course, it is not totally safe so you are going to require the government to provide some security and a safe corridor out.”
He explained that “Our situation is particularly challenging because the numbers are so great. Some the countries like the US and European countries have started evacuating.
“But what they’ve been evacuating were actually their diplomatic staff. They haven’t been able to start evacuating their citizens there. We can’t evacuate all our diplomatic staff at the moment because they need to also coordinate the evacuation of all those students that we’re talking about.”
The Federal Government has advised against embarking on a journey towards the borders of Sudan without security clearance and guarantee from the Sudanese authorities, citing ongoing safety concerns. The Embassy has reassured Nigerian students that their safety and well-being are of utmost priority.