The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) continues to demonstrate its commitment to bringing back stranded Nigerian citizens from Sudan, ensuring that no one is left behind.
As the crisis in Sudan persists, NEMA has successfully evacuated 2,865 Nigerians since April 2023. The agency’s unwavering dedication and cooperation have been evident in their recent mission, where another 205 evacuees arrived safely in Abuja on a TARCO Aviation aircraft.
On Friday, July 28, 2023, the aircraft landed at 12.09 pm, carrying 160 adults and 45 children/infants. Mustapha Habib Ahmed, the Director-General of NEMA, alongside other officials, welcomed the returnees on behalf of the Federal Government.
Expressing his delight at the successful evacuation, Mustapha Habib Ahmed emphasized NEMA’s top priority: “We have not lost one Nigerian life since the crisis began, which is most important to us.”
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The evacuation efforts have been a collaborative endeavor, with various government agencies, the private sector, and the general public joining hands to facilitate the safe return of Nigerians.
Among the key partners are the Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the National Commission for Refugees Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons (NCFRMI), Nigerian in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM), Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS), Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), and the Dangote Foundation.
NEMA’s commitment to ensuring safety involves a thorough profiling process to ensure valid Nigerian passports for all evacuees. With only 40 Nigerian nationals remaining in Sudan, NEMA remains steadfast in its dedication to bringing them back home safely.
The mission was not without its challenges, particularly in accessing Sudanese airspace, but NEMA’s determination and cooperation with TARCO airlines ensured the successful airlift of the returnees.
Upon arrival, the evacuees were provided with meals, shelter, psychological support, and essential provisions. The Dangote Foundation offered each returnee N100,000 to facilitate their transportation to their final destinations.
Mustapha Habib Ahmed expressed gratitude to the Dangote Foundation and emphasized that NEMA’s primary focus is the safety and well-being of Nigerian citizens.
He reaffirmed the agency’s commitment to unity, resilience, and compassion, ensuring that no Nigerian is left behind in Sudan.
The returnees, relieved and grateful, thanked the Federal Government and NEMA for their tireless efforts in facilitating their safe return home. Ridwan Yusuf, a student studying in a Sudanese university, expressed his appreciation, stating, “I thank God, the Federal Government, NEMA, and the Nigerian embassy in Sudan for what they did for us. I want to say we are happy to be back home.”
Addressing the media and other stakeholders, Mustapha Habib Ahmed said: “Today, we celebrate unity, resilience, and compassion and our primary focus will always be the safety and well-being of our people. NEMA stands resolute, working closely with the Refugee and Diaspora Commission, as well as our partners in the airline and military authorities, to ensure the successful completion of this mission. We commend the support of the Dangote Foundation in providing dignity packs and a cash token of N100,000 per passenger for transportation.”