Abike Dabiri-Erewa, the Chairman of Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, announced on Saturday that the Nigerian Mission in Egypt is organizing the payment of visa fees for Nigerian citizens stranded at the Egypt-Sudan border. This comes after the Federal Government’s call on Friday for relevant authorities along Sudan’s contiguous borders to establish humane conditions for the safe passage of approximately 7,000 nationals, including Nigerians, to their respective destinations.
Dabiri-Erewa highlighted that these individuals had been unable to cross into Egypt since their arrival on Thursday evening. In an effort to assist them, the Nigerian Mission is set to pay nine dollars per person and 25 dollars in visa fees. However, she noted that even within Egypt, traveling between regions requires an exit permit. A CI30 flight is anticipated to take off soon, with the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) preparing to depart for Aswan with provisions.
On Saturday, several state governments evacuated their indigenes or those under their sponsorship. Borno, Jigawa, and Kaduna states were among those taking action, as confirmed by Dr. Hashim Na’Allah, Chairman of the Nigerian Community (Elders Forum) in Sudan. Abdullah Anyuabuga, a student, also reported that the Kaduna government had moved their students and left.
Unfortunately, those who were not evacuated expressed disappointment, as the ceasefire is set to end on Sunday. The Nigerian Embassy in Sudan stated on Friday that the second batch of evacuations for stranded Nigerians in Khartoum to Egypt would begin on Saturday. H.Y. Garko, Charge d’Affairs, signed the statement.
However, Mubarak Ahmed, President of the Association of Yoruba Student Union in Sudan, reported that embassy officials claimed there was no available money and they were awaiting funds. He added that students had gathered at El-razi University in Azhari, Khartoum, in the hopes of a resolution, but the situation remained unresolved.
Al-Ameen Ahmad, President of the Nasarawa State Students Association in Sudan, also expressed frustration, saying that buses were available, but drivers refused to move because they had not been paid. He criticized the Nigerian government for not addressing the situation more urgently, as the ceasefire is set to end on Sunday.