The Federal Government under President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed worry over its inability to evacuate Nigerians in Sudan as a deadly crisis continues to plague the North African nation.
The Chairman, Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), Abike Dabiri-Erewa, disclosed Friday evening on Twitter that efforts had been put in place by the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and the Nigerian Mission in Sudan.
She however noted that the authorities were experiencing challenges, particularly with regard to airlifting Nigerian nationals out of the troubled country.
“While @nemanigeria and the Nigerian Mission in Sudan have put in place necessary arrangements, any flight now is gravely risky,” Dabiri-Erewa tweeted.
“Airlines on ground at the airport were all burnt today , there is a curfew in place and no flights can operate.”
The NIDCOM boss added that humanitarian groups were making efforts to distribute food, water, and medicals, while all efforts were being put in place to hopefully get the warring parties to ceasefire.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with our citizens there, and the whole country,” she said.
The country is experiencing hostilities owing to two warring generals who seized power in a 2021 coup: army chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and his deputy, Mohamed Hamdan Daglo, who commands the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF).
Amid the crisis, Nigerian students in Sudan cried out to be evacuated from the in-crisis country.
In response, NIDCOM on Thursday revealed that plans were already underway to see to the evacuation of Nigerians in Sudan, saying meetings were being held as to how best to handle the evacuation process.
Meanwhile, Arewa Youth Consultative Forum (AYCF) has called on the Federal Government to ensure stranded Nigerians in Sudan are evacuated without further delay.
National President of AYCF, Alhaji Yerima Shettima in a statement on Saturday expressed dismay over the excuse by the Nigerian embassy that it will be difficult to evacuate the citizens due to one challenge or the other.
According to Shettima, the excuses from evacuating the over 4000 citizens trapped in Sudan is totally unacceptable, adding that majority of Nigerians in the situation are Northerners.
He stressed that AYCF will hold the Nigerian Embassy in Sudan accountable if nothing happens to their Northern brothers and sisters, especially their young ones schooling in Sudan.
Yerima said: “As concerned Nigerians who are very uncomfortable with the fate of Nigerians trapped in Sudan due to ongoing war and killings, we feel duty bound to unequivocally state our final stand on this bloodshed and arson.
“It is totally unacceptable that while several countries were evacuating their citizens from Sudan, ours is the only African nation giving excuses.
“With thousands of Nigerians in Sudan, especially male and female Northern students being the majority, we reject the lame excuse given in a letter by the Nigeria Embassy about the difficulty of evacuating our sons and daughters. No Northerner in this country is at peace since the killings and arson started in Sudan.
“We are aware that the Sudanese government had already warned that the situation would escalate, and gave 72 hours ultimatum for countries whose citizens are either doing business or schooling in that country to be evacuated.
“We cannot fathom why all we get at the moment is the excuse by our Embassy that doing so would be difficult. What held us from taking advantage of the 72 hours ultimatum in the first place?
“It is abundantly clear that lives are now at stake, especially for our Northern brothers and sisters schooling in Sudan, considering the escalation of this war, that involves the use of heavy-duty incendiary.
“As a group, we wish to make it categorically clear that if our innocent Northern brothers and sisters schooling in Sudan get killed in this war, we shall hold the Nigerian Embassy in Sudan accountable.
“We wish to emphasize that on no account should these young and innocent Nigerians be left to their own devices, because they have a fatherland that has the constitutional and legal responsibility to protect the lives of citizens anywhere they are on this planet.”