Nigerians react as over 7,000 people stranded at Egyptian border

NIGERIANS on social media have expressed mixed feelings following the news that over 7,000 people, including Nigerian students, were stranded at the Egyptian border.

The ICIR had reported that the chairman of the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM), Abike Dabiri-Erewa, said about 7,000 people, including Nigerian students being evacuated from Sudan, were stranded at the Egyptian border.

In a statement on Friday, April 28, NiDCOM said the Nigerian Mission in Egypt was making efforts to secure the students’ entry into the country.


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“She added that the Nigerian mission in Egypt has been working tirelessly on this as the Egyptian authorities are insisting on visas by fellow Africans to transit back to their countries. She appealed to the Egyptian authorities to kindly allow the already traumatised travellers to transit to their final destinations in various countries in Africa,” the statement noted.

Due to the ongoing crisis in Sudan, the Federal government had planned to evacuate Nigerians studying in the country back to Nigeria. 

Although there was a challenge in evacuating the students as reported by The ICIR, the first batch of the students, however, left Khartoum, the Sudan capital, by road for Aswan in Egypt, early on Wednesday, April 28.

During the journey to the Egyptian border, a student claimed via a video circulating on social media that they were left stranded in the desert due to non-payment of fees to the bus operators by the Federal government.

It was later confirmed by the NiDCOM chairman that the issues were settled, and the students arrived at the Aswan border in Egypt on Thursday, April 27.

Meanwhile, none of the students had been airlifted from Aswan to Nigeria since they arrived there on Thursday, April 27.

Reactions

Reacting to the development, some Nigerians on Twitter criticised the government over their handling of the situation, while some accused it of mismanaging the $1.2 million meant for the evacuation.

A twitter user with the name Engr_Shaibu criticised the government for what he called the inadequate planning regarding the temporary passage of its citizens into Egypt.

He wrote, “Shame, $1.2 million spent blindly. No earlier arrangements made with Egypt to temporarily allow passage due to warring conditions. Incompetent people at the helm of affairs!!!!”

Another user, @alexander _caee also wrote “Egyptian and Ethiopian authorities not allowing Nigerian nationals to cross or land thru their border have shown that PMB and its government not only failed Nigerians, but also failed African leaders. What is the importance of PMB visiting islamic countries for 8 yrs? Shame”

@IfyMaxxxx said the Federal government should have started negotiations with the Egypt government before the arrival of the buses.

“They should have started talks with Egypt sinceee, not waiting until the buses arrived at the Egyptian border. When will our government understand the word PLANNING? When other citizens arrive Nigerian border, will they be allowed to pass just like that?”






     

     

    Uzoma ogan sympathised with the family of the affected students, hoping that there would be quick resolution from the Federal government.

    “Truly sad. Praying for quick resolution. I can only imagine the anguish of a parent in such a tragic situation. That feeling of helplessness must be the worst feeling in the world.”

    Another twitter user, @Spotlight_Abby said “Egypt refusing passage to Nigerians fleeing a war zone shows that Africa has failed to integrate. Nigeria’s inability to secure all diplomatic approvals including landing permit for Air Peace who was denied landing, is subpar.No one will respect you if U don’t value yourself. Imagine if Nigeria had a viable economy, strong and responsible leadership and probably does inter-continental trade with Egypt etc running into billions of dollars?

    “Imagine if Africa developed her tech & learned to value her own lives & not be a hotbed for poverty & terrorism? Compare our reality with when Ukrainians were fleeing Ukraine & how their neighbours like Poland welcomed them into clean & nice shelters, and even provided stuffed toys for the kids! Black Africans need to fix up internally & externally to be respected. Everyone is doing it.”

    Usman Mustapha is a solution journalist with International Centre for Investigative Reporting. You can easily reach him via: [email protected]. He tweets @UsmanMustapha_M

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