The government asked Nigerian students in Sudan to disregard plans by the National Association of Nigerian Students, NANS, to evacuate them to Ethiopia and advised them to stay indoors and not go to the borders.
In a statement yesterday, H.Y Garko, for Charge D’ Affairs, Embassy of Nigeria in Khartoum, advised the students to stay calm, adding that plans were underway to evacuate them.
Garko was reacting to a call by NANS in Sudan asking students to converge at three locations for possible evacuation to Ethiopia.
According to Garko, it is dangerous to cross the borders of Sudan without clearance.
“The embassy of the Federal Republic Nigeria Khartoum, wishes to inform all students in Sudan that they should disregard the notice circulated by the NANS in Sudan, calling students to converge at the three locations namely: African international university, NANS office and El-Razi University, for evacuation or to bring $100 or $200 for evacuation, ” the statement reads.
“As the embassy had earlier informed students, you are therefore requested to stay calm and remain indoors, while the embassy is working on final approval to commence evacuation.
“It is still dangerous to embark on a journey toward the borders of Sudan without securing clearance and guarantee from Sudanese authorities.
“The embassy wishes to reassure the Nigerian students that their safety and wellbeing is of priority concern.”
Earlier on Sunday, NANS media committee had directed students to converge on Gadarif, before evacuation to neighbouring Ethiopia.
The students’ body said the departure time was 1 pm and the transport would cost $100.
“This is to inform all Nigerian students to gather at any of these three locations to proceed with the evacuation to Gadarif, then to Ethiopia. 1. Ifriqiyyah University 2. NANSS office or 3. El-Razi University.
“Those who don’t have the funds should contact either their school or state president. Come along with your original passport and photocopy or school ID card.
“Those that don’t have their passport at hand should also contact their state or school president,” NANs said.
Visa officials exploiting us at the Ethiopian border, Nigerian students cry out
Also yesterday, Nigerian students trapped in the war-torn country again cried out for help, saying they were being exploited at the Ethiopian border by visa officials.
This came as Nigerian students of Yoruba extraction weekend sought the help of the South-West governors for their evacuation, following the inability of the federal government to urgently evacuate them.
Government forces and fighters of the Rapid Support Forces have spent the last week exchanging fire, a situation that left many civilians in a dire situation and severe hardship.
Among the distressed civilians are Nigerian students in the country who had called on the Nigerian government to come to their rescue and return them home.
A report by the BBC Hausa Service monitored by our correspondent yesterday indicated that the Nigerian students were completely stranded in the country.
A female Nigerian student in Sudan, Fauziya Idris Safiyo who fled Khartoum to Gallaba, a border town between Sudan and Ethiopia, lamented that the situation was unbecoming.
“We’ve been hearing gunshots from ground and air, bombs were exploding and fighter jets were attacking. There was no food, no water, and no medicine. We can’t travel. No money. Miscreants were having a field day,” she said.