Following the release of a viral video showing Nigerians who, claimed to have been compelled to flee to the desert by the United Arab Authorities, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has said the stranded Nigerians can return home from August 29 when international air travel would commence.
The viral footage showed the stranded individuals standing in open desert grounds outside a city believed to be Dubai, while the recorder of the video accused the UAE of racism, stressing that that they had been prevented from departing the country.
Reacting to the video, the spokesman, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr Ferdinand Nwonye, said the Nigerian mission in UAE had carried out the evacuation of many Nigerians. He then added that those shown in the video could return to Nigeria on their own.
He said, “Our mission in UAE has been carrying out evacuation of stranded Nigerians and those who were serious have been brought back.
“For those in the video, they can hang on till August 29 when international air travel will commence and they would be free to come back on their own.”
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Furthermore, the Chairman, Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, Abike Dabiri-Erewa also commented on the video, stating that the protesters shown in the video were mostly irregular migrants had been asked to leave the UAE on March 1, before the deadline was later extended to August 17.
She explained that the authorities provided free evacuation flights which the protesters allegedly snubbed.
According to Dabiri-Erewa, “179 came back on Saturday free of charge, but some are still bent on hiding and breaking the laws. You shouldn’t stay illegally anywhere.”