Relief as Egypt finally opened its border for Nigerian students evacuated from Sudan, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, chairperson of the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), has said.
Dabiri-Erewa said the border was opened after President Muhammadu Buhari spoke with Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, the Egyptian president.
The NIDCOM chairperson’s statement came a few hours after the commission said Egypt’s borders were still closed despite the arrival of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) in the northern African country to airlift the stranded students.
NIDCOM said the air force had assured the students that they will not be left behind.
“We will not leave without our students,” NAF was quoted as saying.
In a swift turn of events, Dabiri-Erewa said the borders had been opened but with stringent conditions.
The NIDCOM chairperson did not give details on the required conditions.
“The border has just been opened, ( with stringent conditions ) after President Buhari’s intervention with the Egyptian President. So, the processing of evacuees by the Nigerian Embassy in Egypt will begin,” Dabiri-Erewa said.
The students, alongside other nationals, had been stranded at the Egyptian border since Thursday evening.
Dabiri-Erewa said the Egyptian authorities were insisting on visas, adding that the Nigerian mission in Egypt had been working tirelessly to rectify the issue.
The first set of evacuated Nigerians were initially expected to arrive in the country on Friday.