By Daniel Idonor
AS Americans and Turkish nationals are being evacuated from the troubled Egypt, President Goodluck Jonathan has directed the Immediate evacuation of Nigerians from the North African nation.
To this end, the President ordered the National Security Adviser, Gen. Andrew Azazi (rtd) and the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Odein Ajumogobia to immediately evacuate trapped Nigerians at the Egyptian airport in Cairo.
In a telephone interview from his base in Adis Ababa, the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Ima Niboro, told Vanguard yesterday that President Jonathan gave the directive Sunday night when he got the news while attending the 16th Ordinary African Union Summit with the theme, “towards Greater Unity and Integration through shared Value’’.
Some 200 Nigerian travellers, amongst them students, businessmen, government officials, and others on medical visits are said to be stranded at Cairo’s International Airport due to the turmoil in that country.
They are said to have been at the airport for days with no access to call home as Egyptian authorities had blocked mobile services as well as access to internet, living in very harsh conditions.
Egypt Air said to have been cancelling flights to African cities (Lagos, Kano, Accra, Nairobi, Entebbe and others) even though it was still operating many flights to European and Arabian cities smoothly.
In the last eight days, Egypt has been in turmoil, with hundreds of thousands of youth pouring into the streets everyday in an effort to topple President Hosni Mubarak, who has ruled the country for nearly 30 years.
President Jonathan said both Azazi and Ajumogobia (who is also in Addis Ababa) must coordinate the mission and return the trapped Nigerians home to their families and loved ones.