By Helen Udoh,Abuja.
Like it’s pragmatic Intervention during the deadly xenophobic attacks in South Africa, the Chairman and CEO of Nigeria’s largest airline, Air Peace, Allen Onyema has announced the interest of his organisation to help evacuate Nigerians who are stranded in Sudan at no cost, amidst escalating fight in the country.
According to Onyema, “Nigerian students and others stranded in the war torn nation have urgent “needs for help.”
There has been calls from different quarters for Nigerians in Sudan to be evacuated. The Federal government, through the minister of Foreign Affairs, Goeffrey Onyeama, had said, its seeking the cooperation of Egypt, to be able to evacuate it’s stranded citizens from Sudan by road.
“Many are stranded in the North African country following a power tussle that has resulted in a crisis. The development has led to calls for the evacuation of the nation’s citizens.
But speaking on Channels Television’s Sunday Politics, Onyeama said those stranded can’t be evacuated by air.
“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.”
His comment comes as a statement from the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in Khartoum, signed by the Charge D’ Affairs H.Y Garko, advised students who make up about 80 percent of the stranded persons to stay indoors.
The FG said it was still dangerous to embark on a journey toward the borders of Sudan without security clearance and guarantee from the Sudanese authorities.
The Embassy also reassured the Nigerian students that their safety and well-being were of priority concern.source, summit post news.