Monday, February 28, 2011


This is so sad as 2,000 helpless Nigerians in Libya will have to wait before they can be evacuated because Libyan authorities have refused to grant landing permit to the aircraft and personnel.

This came after President Jonathan’s directive on Wednesday ordering the immediate evacuation of Nigerians stranded out there.


Sources at the National Emergency Management Agency told the paper that the team for the evacuation and the aircraft chartered could not fly to Tripoli since Thursday as they are still awaiting diplomatic clearance from Libya.

The Director-General of NEMA, Sani Sidi, who is the leader of the team and others have been on standby at the airport since Thursday waiting for the clearance from Libya. Others in the team are foreign affairs officers, medical personnel and immigration/rescue officers. NEMA Spokesman Yushau Shuaib confirmed the problems being faced by the Nigerian team, saying the agency would keep trying until it gets the necessary clearance to enter Libya for the evacuation exercise.

Nigerian embassy sources in Tripoli told THISDAY last night that there are about 2,000 distressed Nigerians in Libya who are eagerly awaiting evacuation. They are said to be getting a raw deal in the hands of Libyan security men who have been brutally repressing the uprising.

The source said when the embassy was finding it difficult getting clearance for the evacuation team, at a point, it considered the idea of asking the distressed Nigerians to either move to Egypt or Mecca in Saudi Arabia, “from where the NEMA team will go and pick them.” However, the Nigerian embassy dropped the idea for fears that the Nigerians may be exposed to more dangers if they should attempt crossing Libyan land borders. The embassy source further disclosed that the Libyan authorities have been unenthusiastic about the issuance of the clearance to NEMA difficult because Libya views Nigeria as an unfriendly country.

This, the source said has been responsible for the frosty relationship between the two countries in the last ten years. As a result, Libya closed its embassy in Nigeria over ten years ago. However, Nigeria still maintains an embassy in Tripoli.

No comments:

Post a Comment