May 2, 2023

We didn’t abandon Igbo in Sudan – NiDCOM

NiDCOM chair petitions Egyptair, demands probe into death of Nigerian passenger

The Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM) has berated the Igbo group, Coalition of South East Youth Leaders (COSEYL) over an allegation that the Chairperson of NiDCOM, Hon Abike Dabiri-Erewa abandoned Igbos in Sudan during the evacuation.

A viral video revealed that Nigerians of Igbo extraction in crisis-hit Sudan were stranded, while one of them recounted how they were asked to alight from the flight, for others to board the plane.

Reacting, NiDCOM, in a press statement by Abdur-Rahman Balogun, Head of Media, Public Relations and Protocols Unit, on Tuesday, described the allegation as a “fabricated lie from the pit of hell.” 

The statement read in parts, “It has come to the attention of the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM) of a fabricated lie from the pit of hell that the Chairman/ CEO, Hon. (Dr) Abike Dabiri-Erewa, prevented some Nigerians, especially of the South East extraction from boarding buses hired by the Federal Government to evacuate stranded Nigerians from the war-torn Khartoum in Sudan.”

“The said group never bothered to cross-check the sponsored false story on  Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa or get her own side of the story before spreading the falsehood all over the media in the spirit of fairness, balancing and objectivity. 

“The allegation by the faceless group, a Coalition of South East Youth Leaders, (COSEYL), signed by one Hon Goodluck Ibem against the indefatigable Abike Dabiri -Erewa who was busy coordinating the two-day conference of Global African Diaspora Symposium (GADS), with 64 countries in attendance in Abuja, is most wicked, divisive and a ridiculous fabrication.

“Reports from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs staff on the ground in Khartoum indicated that when the boarding of buses began, the situation was so chaotic that some people (including Non-Nigerians) jumped in violently, some with daggers, through the windows. To bring sanity and to abide by the instruction of the Minister of Foreign Affairs that priority should be given to women, children and students, the officials started calling them in according to states in alphabetical order, beginning with Abia State.

“Reports from Sudan indicate that all who converged at the prescribed locations were to be picked up, and have all been moved in 40 buses either towards Port Sudan or towards Egyptian borders.

“However, if some arrived after the stipulated time or did not show up at the point of pick up, they can’t blame it on anyone.

“NIDCOM is focussed, working with other relevant agencies, on the safe return of stranded Nigerians and will not be distracted by nonsensical, illogical, irresponsible, rascal and unfounded comments meant to distract from the success, safe and secure return of Nigerians from Khartoum, Sudan.”