Viral video on social media shows stranded Nigerians in Saudi Arabia calling for help
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A viral video has emerged on the social media showing some Nigerians calling for help to return from Saudi Arabia.
The video shows that they have been stranded in the West Asian country for more than seven months.
The viral video, which showed bodies wrapped in black polythene bags lying on the floor in a packed room, was posted on Twitter by a user with the handle @KsaApc, who said he had spoken with the brother of one of the victims.
“I spoke with one of the brothers and he told me that his brother was among the detainees,” the tweet said. “Some of them have ended their stays and do not have the ability to renew and the others do not have regular residencies.”
— APC KSA (SAUDI ARABIA) (@KsaApc) January 21, 2021
Although The ICIR cannot independently verify the video or the individual who made it, chairman of the Nigerians In Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), Abike Dabiri-Erewa, while reacting to the tweet on Friday said, “Nigerian irregular migrants in Saudi Arabia are due to be evacuated on the 28th and 29th of January, pending any unforeseen issues.”
The evacuation is expected to be carried out in two batches of 400 and 200 by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the NIDCOM chief said.
Dabiri-Erewa’s tweet appeared to confirm the scenes on the video.
“We are here for more than three months, six months, seven months, without any action, no better information on transport to Nigeria,” the male narrator in the video said.
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“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.”
In her Friday tweet, Abike Dabiri said, “their evacuation was delayed due to issues relating to Covid-19.
“We appeal to Nigerians to resist travelling abroad without proper documents. It’s become very dangerous and more difficult.”
NIDCOM has severally intervened in cases of stranded Nigerians abroad, especially during the coronavirus pandemic.
In August, the agency helped to facilitate the evacuation of 261 Nigerians stranded in China.