FG denies allegation of abandoning Igbo in Sudan

The Federal Government on Tuesday, described as wicked, divisive and ridiculous fabrication, allegation that the Igbo have been left behind by officials of the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM) in the ongoing evacuation of Nigerians from Sudan.

A viral video had circulated on the social media by a group, Coalition of South East Youth Leaders (COSEYL), claiming that the Igbo were asked to disembark from the buses hired by the Federal Government to evacuate Nigerians from the war ravaged country.

But, Head of Media, Public Relations and Protocols Unit NIDCOM, Abdur-Rahman Balogun, in a statement, described the allegation as the figment of the imagination of those making it.

He said no Nigerian from any party of the country was denied entry into the buses, adding that those making the allegation did not bother to cross-check with the Commission to know what transpired in Sudan.

The statement reads: “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 ridiculous allegation which was first published by one Chukwujekwu Ilozue of the Daily Independent Newspapers on May 1, 2023, and syndicated by This Day Newspapers, Nigerian Tribune online and other online media, is the height of rascality and mischief.

“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 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, 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 any one.

“NIDCOM is focused, 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.”

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