•150 others await evacuation
By Adedayo Akinwale
The federal government has rescued 30 stranded Nigerians, who in a video that went viral on social media, appealed for help to leave Lebanon.
A statement yesterday by the Media, Public Relations and Protocol Unit of Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), Mr. Gabriel Odu, said the 30 rescued ladies would be part of 150 others trafficked and stranded in Lebanon to be evacuated back to Nigeria.
He quoted the Lebanese Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Houssam Diab, as unveiling the evacuation plans when the management of NIDCOM, led by the Secretary, Dr. Sule Bassi, visited the embassy in Abuja.
Odu quoted Diab as saying that the150 stranded Nigerians will be returned home in batches.
Diab added that the first batch of 110 would leave Beirut, Lebanon to Lagos on August 12 while the second batch would be returned to Abuja on August 16.
The ambassador commended the efforts of the Lebanese community and the Oyo State government for sponsoring the return of 55 of the stranded Nigerians.
The statement said: “30 Nigerians in a video appealing for help have been rescued by the Nigerian Mission in Lebanon, and have been relocated to a more conducive apartment
“They will be part of 150 others trafficked and stranded in Lebanon to be evacuated back to Nigeria.
“Suffice to say that 150 of these stranded victims are expected to be evacuated next week and handed over to NAPTIP, the agency responsible for trafficking.”
A breakdown shows Oyo State has four; Ogun, 21; Lagos, 12; Ondo, 18; Osun, 26; Delta and Imo states have three each; Kwara, nine’; Ekiti, six;
Enugu, Kogi, Edo, Ebonyi, Benue, Abia, Akwa Ibom and Anambra have one each.
Bassi, however, commended the dedication and commitment of the Nigerian Ambassador to Lebanon, Mr. Goni Bura, mission staff, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Oyo and Ogun State Governments and other strategic partners in rescuing the people.