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Nigeria begins evacuation of citizens from Egypt

By Laide Akinboade
ABUJA — In view of the ongoing violent demonstration in Egypt and as directed by President Goodluck Jonathan that all Nigerians in the country be evacuated immediately, the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, has chartered a jumbo jet to this effect.

NEMA, in a statement signed by Head of Public Relations, Mr. Yushau Shuaib, said the jumbo jet was chartered and it could accommodate 540 passengers.

Egyptian protesters took to the streets on January 25, calling on their President Hosni Mubarack, to step down. But in recent days the demonstration has turned violent with many Egyptians sustaining wounds and some even lost their lives.

According to the statement, “sequel to the directive of President Goodluck Jonathan for the immediate evacuation of stranded Nigerians in Egypt, the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, has today (yesterday) chartered a jumbo jet with capacity to accommodate 540 passengers for the operation.

Director General of NEMA, Muhammad Sani-Sidi, who is leading the team comprising rescue officer, medical personnel and foreign affairs officers, said the team would ensure they carry out the directive of the President by evacuating Nigerians safely back to the country.”

The DG said over 1500 Nigerians have registered for evacuation to the country which included Nigerian officials in Cairo. Most of them are squatting at the Cairo international airport and could not make contact with their families.
Some of the stranded Nigerians were reported to have visited Egypt on business, studies and medical treatments.

It was reported that the Egyptian national carrier, Egypt Air, had cancelled flights to African cities, such as Lagos, Kano, Accra, Nairobi, Entebbe, though it still operated some routes in Europe and Middle East.


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