Story from Damilola Aina
No fewer than 117 Nigerians evacuated from East African countries, mainly foreign students and Technical Aid Corps volunteer professionals deployed to a two-year service in Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania and some East African countries have been left stranded by the federal government at the Murtala Mohammed international airport, Lagos.
The passengers who arrived aboard Azman with the knowledge that they would be brought to Abuja were instead taken to Lagos.
The volunteer academics were due to return back to the country upon expiration of their service in May this year but were held back by the ravaging Coronavirus and had to seek assistance from the FG who offered a chartered flight for all tech members back to the nation’s capital.
“We packed our bags happy to return when we were informed of the help from the government, exhausting our allowances,“ said one of the academics who declined attribution.
“On the day for evacuation, I had to travel over 200 miles to get to the airport and also instructed my family to meet me at the Nnamdi Azikwe Airport, Abuja to drive me home. When we entered, the plane was just like a domestic one, not even a charging port. Then the pilot made the announcement and stated Lagos as the destination, and I asked what about Abuja and they told me categorically that Abuja was not in the agreement”.
All efforts to reach officers proved abortive as the Aircraft Officer refused to disclose the identity of personnel who brokered the deal.
“I have never been to Lagos and I’m stranded, I am not a criminal, thank God we made calls and were lodged in a hotel but apart from that I have no means to get home”.
Neptune Prime also gathered that despite the plane being chartered by the federal government, the students on the flight were made to pay for tickets.
As at the time of filing this report, there has been no form of contact from the government to unite them back to their families.
It will be recalled that a few weeks ago, stranded Nigerians in Asia were evacuated back but had to pay for their flight tickets and hotel accommodation, including feeding, in Abuja.