The National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, has commenced evacuation of the 5,500 stranded Nigerians from Sudan.
NEMA’s Director, Special Duties, Onimode Bamidele, who disclosed this, said the Agency Director-General, Mustapha Habib Ahmed has travelled to Cairo to coordinate the evacuation exercise.
Earlier, the Chairman/CEO of Air Peace, Allen Onyema had offered to airlift the stranded Nigerian citizens free of charge.
Assuring the evacuation plan has reached advanced stage, he disclosed that: “I just spoke to the Ambassador in Khartoum, some minutes ago and the truth is, it is true that there are plans to get buses to start movement tomorrow (Tuesday) morning and as I speak with you, the Director General of NEMA, Mustapha Ahmed is already in Cairo because that is the window that we are looking at.
“We have a town called Luxor and another one. So, the movement is to be perfected between the Embassy in Khartoum and the DG NEMA who is already in Cairo.
“So, as confirmed by the Nigerian Ambassador in Khartoum, tomorrow, it is guaranteed that movement by road will start.”
While fielding questions on the number of Nigerians to evacuate, he said; “Our projection was both students and others, they are about 5,000 but my discussion with the Ambassador this morning, the plan is for about 2,650 to 2,800 to move immediately including families of embassy staff and as plans continue, the figures will be updated and the exact time of departure from Khartoum to Cairo will also be communicated.
“The population is worked by the number of buses and the number of buses will determine how many can move at a particular time.
“Like I said, if you are evacuating in a situation of internal crisis like we have in Sudan, you have to be mindful of the number of buses in your convoy so that you can easily manage it; security-wise.”