FG Evacuates 424 More Nigerians Stranded in Saudi Arabia

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Bennett Oghifo

The federal government, yesterday, evacuated additional 424 Nigerians stranded in Saudi Arabia, to join the 384 earlier repatriated on Thursday.

This development was tweeted yesterday by the Chairman of the Nigerians In Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), Abike Dabiri-Erewa, stating that all the returnees would be quarantined for 14 days in line with the COVID-19 protocols.

She tweeted: “Another 424 Nigerians stranded in Saudi Arabia arrive at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja via Saudi Air Flight at about 11:58 am local time today 29th January 2021.

“The returnees will join the 384 returnees that arrived yesterday (Thursday) and are currently undergoing quarantine at the Federal Capital Territory Hajj camp for 14 days in line with the reversed COVID-19 protocols by the Presidential Task Force on Covid-19.”
The federal government, last week, promised to evacuate these Nigerians stranded in Saudi Arabia for over seven months before the end of this month, following their plea in a recorded video.

“Nigerian irregular migrants in Saudi Arabia are due to be evacuated on the 28 and 29th of January, pending any unforeseen issues. Their evacuation was delayed due to issues relating to COVID-19. We appeal to Nigerians to resist traveling abroad without proper documents,” tweeted Abike Dabiri-Erewa, in reaction to the video made by the stranded Nigerians to appeal for the federal government’s intervention. These Nigerians were being held in squalid conditions at the Saudi government’s detention facility in Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia.

These over-stayers stated in the video, “We are here more than three months, six months, seven months ago, without any action, no better information on transport to Nigeria.

“According to the rules and regulations of this location, we are not supposed to be here for more than two weeks.
“Most nationals of other countries have been flown back to their countries. Only we Nigerians don’t have any source or way of getting back.
“I’m here on behalf of others to seek your assistance to get us back to our country.”

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