By Our Correspondent
No fewer than 126 Nigerians stranded in Sudan arrived Abuja yesterday following the continued crisis in the war-torn country.
The returnees arrived on a Tarco Aircraft ST-TAL B737-300 at about 5:15p.m.
They were received by staff of NEMA, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons, NIDCOM, NAPTIP, among others.
Of the 126 evacuees, three are students while 23 are children.
This brings to total 2,660 stranded Nigerians evacuated to the country in 16 batches since the crisis broke out in Sudan.
The returnees were given N100,000 cash as well as food and drinks upon arrival.
Mr Mustapha Ahmed, Director-General, National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) welcomed the returnees on behalf of the federal government.
Ahmed who was represented by Dr Onimode Bandele, Director, Special Duties, NEMA, said that arrangements had been made to return more Nigerians stranded in Sudan.
“This evacuation started before the end of the last administration, and being a caring government, President Bola Tinubu administration inherited the process and gave us the backing we need to bring them back.
“The success we are seeing today is because the federal government supported us and the director-general of NEMA has been on top of the situation, getting these flights out of Port Sudan,” he said.
Mr Akwari Henry, a returnee who had stayed in Sudan for six years, appreciated the federal government for bringing them back to the country.
“I was playing football for a club in Sudan and I have been there for six years. I do not pray we face this same crisis in Nigeria because the experience has been traumatising.
“I looked forward to being invited by football clubs in Nigeria to start life again,” he said.
Another returnee, Mrs Bilqis Bamijoko, also appreciated the federal government for evacuating them back to the country.
“Since April when the war began, we have not been ourselves, we could not sleep not to talk of eating good food but I am happy to be back home,” she said.
NAN reports that armed conflict between rival factions of the military government of Sudan began on April 15, when clashes broke out in cities across Khatourm and Dafur regions.