There are currently more than three million Nigerians living in Sudan, the northern African nation caught up in a civil war caused by two warring army generals, says the federal government.
The number of Nigerians living in the war-ravaged country was disclosed by Abike Dabiri-Erewa, the chairwoman of Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM) in Abuja on Thursday during the weekly ministerial briefing organised by the presidential communications team.
According to the NIDCOM chief, over three million Nigerians reside in Sudan, and efforts are being made to evacuate as many as possible from the country if the war persists.
“When we were talking about diaspora voting, some people were saying when we do that, it may not augur well. But we said no, we need to go to places like Sudan where we have millions of Nigerians who migrated there years ago, and they have relationships and businesses there,” stated Ms Dabiri-Erewa.
Ms Dabiri-Erewa, however, maintained that priority would be on children, students and women, adding that 13 buses had departed Sudan for the Egyptian border Aswan, where the returnees would be airlifted to Nigeria.
The government official said over 5,500 Nigerian students in Sudan would be among the first Nigerian nationals to be evacuated.
“We have some buses that have departed from the African International University in Khartoum, Sudan, and as I speak, I think they are just about two hours away from Aswan in Cairo,” stated Ms Dabiri-Erewa.
The NIDCOM chair added, “Others departed from the Elrazi University also in Khartoum. All in all, 13 buses have departed for the Aswan border in Egypt, where they will be received by the Nigerian ambassador there and the director-general of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Habib Ahmed, who is already there with some officials.”
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