No fewer than 126 Nigerians stranded in Sudan arrived in Abuja on Saturday following the continued crisis in the war-torn country.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the returnees arrived on a Tarco Aircraft ST-TAL B737-300 at about 5:15pm.
The returnees were received by the staff of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Ministry of Foreign Affairs, National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons, NIDCOM, and NAPTIP, among others.
NAN also reports that of the 126 evacuees, three are students while 23 are children.
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This brings to a total of 2,660 stranded Nigerians evacuated to the country in 16 batches since the crisis broke out in Sudan.
The returnees were given N100,000 cash as well as food and drinks upon arrival.
Mr Mustapha Ahmed, Director-General, NEMA welcomed the returnees on behalf of the federal government.
Ahmed who was represented by Dr Onimode Bandele, Director, Special Duties, NEMA, said that arrangements had been made to return more Nigerians stranded in Sudan.
“This evacuation started before the end of the last administration, and being a caring government, President Bola Tinubu administration inherited the process and gave us the backing we need to bring them back.
“The success we are seeing today is because the Federal Government supported us and the director-general of NEMA has been on top of the situation, getting these flights out of Port Sudan,” he said.
Mr Akwari Henry, a returnee who had stayed in Sudan for six years, appreciated the federal government for bringing them back to the country.
“I was playing football for a club in Sudan and I have been there for six years. I do not pray we face this same crisis in Nigeria because the experience has been traumatising.
“I looked forward to being invited by football clubs in Nigeria to start life again,” he said.
Another returnee, Mrs Bilqis Bamijoko, also appreciated the federal government for evacuating them back to the country.
“Since April when the war began, we have not been ourselves, we could not sleep not to talk of eating good food but I am happy to be back home,” she said.
Armed conflict between rival factions of the military government of Sudan began on April 15, when clashes broke out in Khartoum and the Darfur region. (NAN)