5th January, 2014
. As first set of Nigerians arrive Abuja
The Nigerian Embassy in Bangui said on Saturday that more than 1,596 Nigerians living in the crisis-ridden Central African Republic (CAR) would be evacuated by the Federal Government.
The First Consul of the embassy, Mr Solomon Obono, said that the embassy worked very hard to ensure the safety of 1, 596 Nigerians, who took refuge in the embassy.
He stressed that the embassy ensured that the citizens were taken care of, prior to their evacuation.
“We informed the Federal Government to arrange for the people’s evacuation. The evacuation has already started, as the first batch of our citizens departed for Nigeria on Friday,’’ he said.
Lt.-Col. Ezindu Idimah, who represented the Director of Defence Information Maj.-Gen. Chris Olukolade, said that the involvement of the Defence Headquarters followed a presidential directive that it should, in concert with other agencies, carry out the evacuation.
Idimah said that the Defence Headquarters was collaborating with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the National Emergency Management Agency and other government agencies in the exercise.
“The Defence Headquarters, in addition to providing financial assistance, has also provided a Nigerian Air Force craft, a medical team and personnel to assist in the exercise,’’ he said.
Some of the evacuees, who spoke to NAN, commended the Federal Government for its efforts to ensure their safety.
Mrs Joy Okoye from Anambra said that she was happy to go home to see her people, saying: “It was a very sad story, as people were killed at will here.’’
Mr Emeka Akweze, also from Anambra, said that he was also happy to be going home after staying in CAR for five years .
Mr Mohammed Musa, who is from Kano State, thanked the Federal Government for coming to the rescue of Nigerians living in the central African country.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that so far, 831 Nigerians have been airlifted to the country.
The evacuation became necessary following the crisis which erupted after the ousting of President Francois Bozize from power by Seleka rebels.