…By Larry John for TDPel Media.
Stranded Nigerian Students in Sudan to be Evacuated
The Federal Government has announced that 1,519 stranded Nigerian students in Sudan will be evacuated to Nigeria. The students will leave Khartoum, the capital of Sudan, through hired buses to Port Sudan and other designated border points for their eventual evacuation to Nigeria.
Controversy Over $1.2 Million Used to Rent Buses
The Federal Government also clarified the controversy over the $1.2 million used to rent buses for the evacuation of the stranded Nigerian students.
Dr Sani Gwarzo, the Permanent Secretary with the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, explained that the first tranche of the money approved by the federal government, which is $400,000, was transferred to the bus company as a deposit.
The bus company was to provide thirteen buses for the evacuation process, but it stopped giving buses after the deposit money expired.
Gwarzo added that the transport company threatened not to move on with the evacuation process, stating that whoever thinks that $1.2 million would be enough to move people from Khartoum to the border and airlift them to Nigeria was being economical with the truth.
Extension of Ceasefire Agreements
The announcement of the evacuation followed the extension of another three days of ceasefire agreements reached between the Para-military Rapid Support Forces in Sudan and the Sudanese Armed Forces.
Assurance of Safety for the Evacuated Students
While briefing newsmen on the current situation with Nigerian students in Sudan, Dr Sani Gwarzo assured that the bus company had been instructed not to leave anybody on the ground.
Even if it is just one person remaining, the bus company should activate the reserve list and bring out new buses to evacuate them. Gwarzo also confirmed that each bus would carry forty-nine persons, and there would be thirty-one buses available for the evacuation.