Two Nigerian students believed to be part of the final set of students stranded in Sudan owing to the ongoing war in the Northeast African country have lamented that they were extorted, in the name of evacuation.
Some embassy staff in Khartoum first asked them to pay $150 ($75 each) for their evacuation, which they requested from their families in Nigeria.
On April 29, the Nigerian government provided additional six buses which were sent to the International University of Africa (IUA) in Sudan, where the Nigerian students studying in Khartoum were asked to assemble for evacuation.
Meanwhile, some of the buses deployed to transport the stranded students to neighbouring Egypt, from where they would be airlifted to Nigeria, were reportedly hijacked by non-documented Nigerians residing in Sudan.
SaharaReporters gathered that undocumented migrants, doing all sorts of menial jobs, stormed the university in large numbers, asking to also be evacuated. They reportedly became aggressive and went inside the buses, insisting that they should be evacuated before the students.
Two affected Nigerian sisters told SaharaReporters that some embassy staff in Khartoum first asked them to pay $150 ($75 each) for their evacuation, which they requested from their families in Nigeria.
They said on April 29, the staff demanded an additional $100 ($50 each) from both of them to facilitate their evacuation.
The students – Dr. Khairat Isa Babayo and Dr Fatima Isa Babayo – both from Bauchi State, told SaharaReporters that the staff collected $125 from each of them.
One of the women is studying medicine while the other is studying dentistry. As of 6 pm (5 pm Nigerian time) Sunday, they said they were still in Khartoum but that the buses that would take them were on the ground.
“The staff collected over $250 from us in the name of evacuation,” one of the sisters said.
“We are still in Khartoum; it’s 6:00 pm here already, but there is every tendency that we might not take off today.”
SaharaReporters earlier reported that the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffery Onyeama said the Nigerian government would be spending $1.2 million to hire 40 buses to be used to evacuate Nigerians trapped in Sudan.
Onyeama disclosed this while speaking to State House correspondents after the Federal Executive Council on Wednesday. Onyeama said the Nigerian government would evacuate citizens within days amid the 72-hour ceasefire agreement between the warring factions in Sudan.