Nigeria’s lower legislative chamber, house of representatives, has said Egypt will be probed over its treatment Nigerians fleeing war in Sudan.
Speaker of the House of Representative, Femi Gbajabiamila made this known on Tuesday during a meeting with officials from the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM), National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), and the ministry of foreign affairs.
Gbajabiamila said the house would probe Egypt’s reluctance to grant access to Nigerians fleeing Sudan.
Recall that Egypt closed its borders to Nigerians fleeing from the war in Sudan.
The north African country later opened its borders to Nigerians after the intervention of President Muhammadu Buhari.
Gbajabiamila said the house would look into the immediate circumstances that led to the hard “diplomatic stance” of the Egyptian authorities.
The speaker said the house would eliminate the confusion over the roles and jurisdiction of relevant ministries and agencies of government in the management of the crisis involving Nigerians abroad.
“Our concern is to bring every Nigerian who wants to return home to Nigeria,” he said.
“Now we know what has been done so far. It is also heartwarming that borders are now open in Egypt. But we will take it up in parliament to find out why they didn’t open the borders in time, especially in a period of crisis like this.
“We are happy that all 5,500 Nigerians willing to leave Khartoum have been evacuated and are on their way home to Nigeria.”
Gbajabiamila also said the green chamber would revisit the law that made NEMA the agency responsible for taking charge of such evacuations for a possible review.
He said it was necessary due to the lapses observed in the current evacuation operations as seen in the overlapping roles of the ministries of foreign affairs; humanitarian, disaster management and social development; NiDCOM and NEMA.
Providing details on the evacuation, Nasir Gwarzo, permanent secretary of the ministry of humanitarian, said Nigeria responded immediately to the situation by using a multi-sectoral approach.
Gwarzo said the initial hitches had been addressed and that all Nigerians willing to return home had been evacuated by buses to Port Sudan, from where they would be air-lifted.
“Our work is 24 hours on and we are in contact with all student groups,” he said.
“Some of the videos you see on social media are a bit exaggerated and most of the issues have been well taken care of already.”
Those at the meeting included Zubair Dada, minister of state for foreign affairs; Abike Dabiri-Erewa, director-general of NiDCOM, among others