On Friday afternoon, the second Sudanese evacuees safely arrived in Nigeria. The Taco Airline aircraft carrying about 130 passengers, consisting of 128 females and two males, landed at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja around 3 pm.
Government officials and others warmly received the returnees. The Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM) had earlier tweeted about their arrival, announcing that the flight left Port Sudan International Airport at 8:00 am local time and was expected to arrive in Abuja around 2:30 pm to 3 pm.
This second batch of evacuees arrived two days after the first group of Nigerian nationals, who were also evacuated from the conflict-ridden North African country.
Upon their arrival on Wednesday, the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management, Sadiya Farouk; the NIDCOM Chairman/CEO, Abike Dabiri-Erewa; and the Director General of the National Management Emergency Agency (NEMA), Ahmed Mustapha, were present to receive them.
Returnees share their harrowing experiences
Sadiq Musa Zakari, a student among the returnees, recounted his gruesome experiences in Sudan but expressed his joy at being back in Nigeria and his pride in the country.
“We faced so many challenges and we faced so many problems. We saw what we have never seen in our lives,” Zakari, who hails from Plateau, said while thanking the Almighty for a safe return.
“We tried to call Nigeria’s attention and the Nigerian government attended to us, so we are actually happy.”
“The moment we landed here, we felt safe, we breathed fresh air and we could hear no sound of bullets and grenades, so we knew we were safe,” Musa Ali Ibrahim from Kano State added.
“Now, we can get water to drink, we can eat now and sleep in peace, so we thank God for that.”