Coronavirus: Allow stranded Nigerians to return home


Buhari led  Federal Government has pleaded with the Sudanese authorities to allow stranded Nigerians to return home.

Chairman, Nigerian Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM) Abike Dabiri-Erewa, who stated this on Wednesday, said the commission has begun action on the distressed calls from the Nigerians who were stranded at the Sudanese airport.

The Nigerians had indicated interest to return to the country following the outbreak of the deadly Coronavirus and had purchased their flight ticket only to be told at the airport that they could not fly.

Dabiri-Erewa, however, said the commission has reached out to the right authorities to allow the Nigerians to travel home.

She said the commission is monitoring the situation and was hopeful that they would be allowed to travel since they have their flight ticket with them.

The NiDCOM boss, who was responding to the question on preparedness of the commission to receive Nigerians who would want to return home as a result of the outbreak of virus, said: “We are ever ready for Nigerian returnees.

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For instance, from Sudan we have a distress call that some Nigerians were stranded at the airport; they want to leave. They have their tickets but they were not going to be allowed to leave.

“So, we have send messages to the right authorities to allow the Nigerians who have already bought their tickets to return. We told the Sudanese authorities that those with their tickets be allowed a particular airline to bring them back. So we are monitoring the situation.”

She said the commission was also monitoring the situation in a country in the Pacific, where Nigerians have been told to return home until normalcy returns.

Though she said the country “is taking good care of the Nigerians”.

She added: So, we are monitoring the situation and we will treat the case as they come.”

NiDCOM boss also commended Nigerians in Wuhan, especially the students, who she said did not capitalise on the situation to make unnecessary demands from the government.

She said the students were honest and reasonable in their request as they also admitted they were extended support by the Chinese government.

Dabiri-Erewa said: “For those in Wuhan, I am glad for the response that the government gave. Nigerians there were not asking to come back but only asked for some support from the Federal Government.

“Normalcy has returned and the students are ready to go back to school. I am happy no Nigerian had the virus and we gave them the support they needed. I want to commend the students in Wuhan. They did not capitalise on the situation to make frivolous demands. They did not lie, they were truthful. “

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