No Nigerian died in Sudan war – FG reveals

The Federal Government has revealed that no Nigerian national was killed in the ongoing civil war in Sudan, The Nation reports.

It said many Nigerians had already been evacuated by sea by the Saudi Arabian government.

Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama and his Minister of State, Zubairu Dada, stated these to journalists after the week’s Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting.

Speaking on the developments around the evacuation process, Dada said the Federal Government had successfully secured permission and authorisation from the Sudanese government to evacuate Nigerians from the country.

“The evacuation is being done in batches to ensure the safety of all Nigerians, but the good news is that no Nigerian life has been lost so far. I think it’s important to stress that all Nigerians are very safe and we’re very confident and hopeful that we shall not lose any Nigerian life Insha Allah in this exercise. All is well and we’re good to go,” he assured.

On if all Nigerians will be evacuated before the 72-hour window, Dada said: “We have no problem about the 72-hour window. Because we’ve talked to all the authorities concerned and we’re on the same page, but talking about the window, we are making every effort to ensure that we make use of this window to evaluate as many Nigerians as we possibly can.”

Dada also announced some Nigerians have already been evacuated by ship by the government of Saudi Arabia.

“Let me also add that some Nigerians have actually been evacuated by ship, I guess from Port Sudan, by the government of Saudi Arabia. Don’t forget, this is a joint effort. We have friendly nations that are ready to assist, you know, so that we’re having to record that the Saudi authorities have been able to, pick up some Nigerians, they’re transporting them by ship, I guess to Saudi Arabia, to Jeddah in particular. From where, of course, again, we’ll link up and find a way of bringing them back from Jeddah those that succeed in going to Jeddah,” he said.

On the order of priority of those to be evacuated, Dada said: “On how the operation is being handled, all lives are equal. Certainly, we won’t want to give preference to diplomats. The diplomats are just as good as every other Nigerian, so we will take them all on board depending on who’s ready and available at any point in time.’’

In the order of evacuation, he said women and children will be prioritised, adding that diplomats will not be evacuated before the students and other Nigerians.

On how much it was costing Nigerian government, Onyeama said: “$1.2 million is what we’re being charged for all the 40 buses. We have huge transporter luxury buses made available to us to transport to the Egyptian border. Of course, you know, because of the risks involved and so many other things, a lot of people are going to also take advantage, you’re going to hike up the price.

‘’We saw that the French convoy was attacked and so forth. It was difficult procuring these buses. But we had to do it because you know, Nigerian lives matter for us.”

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