Nigerian Ambassador to the Republic of Sudan, Safiu Olaniyan, has given an update on the situation in the war-torn country.
The envoy gave the update while reacting to complaints and allegations levelled against the embassy.
In a voice note, the ambassador assured parents and students that the embassy officials were fully on ground in Khartoum, capital of Sudan, to ensure their evacuation.
He also clarified that the embassy was not in charge of hiring buses to convey evacuees out of Sudan, and pleaded with those aggrieved to rethink the alleged plan to attack embassy officials.
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He said the Ministry of Disaster and Humanitarian Affairs as well National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) were in charge of the buses.
“Good afternoon my fellow Nigerians. My name is Ambassador Olaniyan. I’m reaching out to you at this point on the issue of buses that’s creating tension everywhere.
“I just want to let you know that the embassy is not in charge of the bus contracts. We’ve not received any money from anybody to hire buses. We are arranging the logistics.
“Those who are arranging the buses are the ministry of humanitarian affairs in Nigeria, as well as NEMA. So our own is to get the necessary instructions that this and this has been arranged and we just give instructions to the students to meet at so-and-so place and that’s what we’ve been doing.
“The present arrangement that appears to have broken down was also midwifed in Nigeria. We’re in contact with them to correct whatever is not right with the contract because students cannot continue to live on the streets. I want to assure you that we’re as vulnerable as you are and we’re not going to leave until all of you have been moved to safety and to Nigeria.
“And so, I’m urging you not to take any action like I’m hearing that you’re planning to attack the family of officers. The officers and myself are all as vulnerable as you are. We’ve no food like you, we’ve no water like you. We’ve no light like you. It’s not like we’re living in a different world. This is war, and it’s not tourism.
“So what you’re experiencing is also what we are experiencing. But I’m assuring you that everything that needs to be done is being done. And within a very short time, the issues will be resolved.”
Olaniyan said efforts were still being made to convince the Egyptian authorities to allow Nigerians fleeing Sudan to pass through their country, from where they would be flown back home.
“With regards to those who are in the border of Egypt, the issue is for security clearance to be issued for the evacuees to be able to move across the border into the Egyptian border.
“All that needs to be contacted in Nigeria are being contacted for them to contact their counterparts in Egypt for this clearance to be issued. It’s unfortunate that it has not been issued, but within a very short time, all this would be in the past.
“Once again, I urge you to be calm and await the necessary development. Nobody is sleeping. We know that you’re there because we’re also here, and we’re not going to leave you to your own faith. We’re in this together and we’re not leaving until you’ve all left for safety and to Nigeria.
“So we’re all waiting for the action of the humanitarian ministry as well as NEMA in respect of the buses, and we are also waiting for the action of the authorities of Nigeria and Egypt in respect of the clearance that’s required to move the buses across the border.”