HOME AT LAST: 376 Nigerians Trapped in War-Torn Sudan Safely Return to Abuja in First Evacuation Flight
A group of 376 Nigerian students who were stranded in Sudan due to the ongoing conflict in the country have been brought back to Abuja. The students were transported via an Air Peace plane and a Nigeria Airforce Jet with the number NAF C-130, and arrived at the Pilgrims Terminal of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja at 11:25pm. This was the first batch of students to be evacuated from Aswan border in Egypt.Upon their arrival, the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Sadiya Umar Farouq, the Director General of NEMA, the Chairman/CEO of the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, and the Federal Commissioner of the National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons were present to receive the students. The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management announced that each student would receive a N100,000 stipend from the Dangote Foundation for transportation purposes, and the MTN Foundation provided recharge cards worth N25,000 to each student as well as 25GB of data.The Sudanese Ambassador to Nigeria expressed his appreciation that Nigeria was able to evacuate its citizens safely and assured that normalcy would soon be restored in Sudan. The Director-General of NEMA stated that four more flights were expected to bring Nigerians back from Sudan on Thursday.The students who spoke to the press expressed mixed feelings about their ordeal in Sudan. One student, Ibrahim Musa, recounted how he was devastated by the sound of gunfire and grenade explosions and was relieved to have returned home. Another evacuee, a pregnant woman named Faith Stephen, expressed her intention to return to Sudan once the situation in the country stabilized, as she and her husband had invested significantly in a joint business there.