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FG evacuates 1,069 Nigerians from Egypt

A total of 1,069 Nigerians have been evacuated from crisis-ridden Cairo, the Egyptian capital, to Nigeria after a successful 48 hours operation jointly coordinated by the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the National Security Adviser, NSA.

Director General of NEMA, Muhammad Sani-Sidi, while receiving the last batch of the returnees at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja, said the exercise was carried out by three chartered Jumbo jets from Nigeria.
Sani-Sidi noted that the last batch included sick and old people and seven infants who were delivered safely in Cairo before the evacuation exercise.

The exercise, according to him, is very successful as all the aircraft used for the evacuation were accompanied by foreign affairs officers, medical team and rescue officers from NEMA, headed by the Director, Search and Rescue in the agency, Air Commodore Alexander Bankole.

President Jonathan gave the directive for the rapid response exercise on the evacuation, while attending the 16th session of African Union, AU, General Assembly, in Addis-Ababa, Ethiopia.

He was moved by the plight of Nigerians who were 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 the internet.

Most of the returnees flown back home were in Egypt for medical treatments, while others are students studying in various institutions of learning in Egypt.

Only few of the returnees went for vacation and businesses.

One of the reason for large numbers of Nigerian passengers at the airport was that the Egyptian national carrier, Egypt Air, had cancelled flights to African cities such as Lagos, Kano, Accra, Nairobi, Entebbe, while still operating some routes.


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Posted by on Feb 6 2011. Filed under Headlines. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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