THE Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM) has reacted to a video circulating on the social media alleging that some stranded citizens of Igbo extraction were left behind during the evacuation in Sudan.
Speaking to The ICIR on Monday, May 1, Head of Media, Public Relations and Protocols Unit, NiDCOM Abdur-Rahman Balogun described the allegations as ethnic-baiting.
“False. They were arranged alphabetically, and all Igbo states: Abia, Anambra etc, were evacuated before Kano and Zamfara.
“If we went by “states and capital” in its order, Abia and Anambra appeared in the first four. Kano, with (most likely the highest) number of students, isn’t even in the first 17 priority list. Zamfara, with a significant number, is the last. All the five Igbo states appear before Kano,” he noted.
An unidentified man in a video circulating on the social media who claimed to be a resident of Sudan said Igbos had been ordered to disembark from a bus moving Nigerians out of the Sudan capital, Khartoum.
“I am calling on the Igbos. We are at the University of Khartoum in Sudan. They said they are doing an evacuation project in which Nigerians will be evacuated out of Sudan. They came and carried some people and then abandoned us Igbos. We boarded the bus that left two days ago but were asked to get off the bus. Everything is now politics,” he said.
The man also called on prominent Igbo in Nigeria to assist with the evacuation from Sudan.
“Now, we are pleading with our Igbo people who can help us. Our brother Air Peace who brought Airplane to help evacuate Nigerians, might feel everything is fine. But I want them to know that things are not going fine. See our bags here. This is where we’ve been abandoned. Somehow, news has spread that we have been evacuated, but we are still here.”
Thousands of foreigners, including at least 10,000 Nigerian students, were trapped in Sudan following the violence between two rival forces.
On Wednesday, April 26, the first batch of Nigerian students stranded in Egypt began the journey out of the Sudan capital by road, as efforts to airlift them directly out of the country were frustrated by the crisis.
While some Nigerians were conveyed to the Egyptian border hoping to be airlifted to Abuja from Aswan, the students were refused entry into the country for four days.
Although the Egyptian authorities eventually granted the evacuees access on Monday following interventions by Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari, other batches of students are being moved to safety through Port Sudan.