Sudan crisis: FG to pay Egypt visa fees for stranded Nigerians

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The Chairman, Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, on Saturday said the Mission in Egypt was making arrangements for the payment of visa fees for stranded Nigerians at the border of the country.

The Federal Government had on Friday called on relevant authorities along contiguous borders of Sudan to create a humane condition for about 7,000 nationals, including Nigerians, to have unfettered access to their various destinations.

Dabiri-Erewa, who made this call, said the nationals were not being allowed to cross the border into Egypt since their arrival on Thursday evening.

However, giving updates on the stranded Nigerians at the Egypt border, Dabiri-Erewa said, “The mission has made arrangements to pay nine dollars per person and 25 dollars visa fees. Within Egypt itself, one cannot travel from one region to another without an exit permit. We are expecting a CI30 to take off within the hour. NAF is getting set to depart with food etc for Aswan.”

Meanwhile, our correspondent gathered that some state governments on Saturday evacuated their indigenes or those sponsored by them.

It was gathered that Borno, Jigawa and Kaduna came for their indigenes.

The Chairman of the Nigerian Community (Elders Forum) in Sudan, Dr Hashim Na’Allah, confirmed, saying, “Yes, Kaduna State and Jigawa State governments evacuated their students today.”

Another student, Abdullah Anyuabuga, said, “Kaduna government moved their students and left today.”

However, those who were not evacuated expressed disappointment, as the ceasefire ends Sunday.

The Embassy of Nigeria in Sudan on Friday said the second batch of the evacuation of stranded Nigerians in Khartoum to Egypt would commence on Saturday. This was contained in a statement signed by the Charge d’ Affairs, H. Y. Garko.

Speaking with our correspondent on Saturday, the President of the Association of Yoruba Student Union in Sudan, Mubarak Ahmed, said the embassy officials claim that they were waiting for an alert as there was no money available, adding that the students had convened at the university earlier in the day and waited for a resolution to their plight which proved abortive.

Ahmed added, “We have been here since 5am. We are tired of sitting in the bus, since morning. Up till now, the buses did not move. The drivers claimed that they have not been paid.

“The embassy officials are saying there is no money, They are waiting for the alert. We converged here this morning at El-razi University in Azhari, Khartoum.”

Also, the President of the Nasarawa State Students Association in Sudan, Al-Ameen Ahmad, stated, “We are tired of this situation. We were very happy when we saw these buses. Every morning, we were all seated in the bus but after some hours, we came down. We had enough buses stationed at various universities but the drivers refused to move because they claimed they had not been paid. The Nigerian government is playing with this ceasefire. By Sunday, it would be over. I wonder what will become of some of us here.”

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