The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has denied allegation that it is frustrating the evacuation process of students from the kingdom of Saudi Arabia. In a statement by the ministry’s spokesperson, Ferdinand Nwoye, it stated that the unfortunate allegations by the misinformed students are therefore absolutely false and should be disregarded.
“The attention of the Ministry Of Foreign Affairs has been drawn to a misleading video in circulation, fabricated by some misguided, unpatriotic and ungrateful Nigerian Students in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and attendant media reports alleging that the Government of Nigeria, particularly the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Abuja; the Embassy of Nigeria in Riyadh and the Consulate General of Nigeria in Jedda, have deliberately refused to facilitate their evacuation to Nigeria for holiday since 15th May, 2020.
“The group further alleged that the Embassy of Nigeria in Riyadh and the Consulate General of Nigeria in Jedda refused to issue Permits to Students to travel home and failed to secure Over Flight Clearance and Landing Permit for the Saudi Arabian Airlines (SAUDIA) to airlift Nigerians from the Kingdom”, the statement read.
Nwoye therefore stated that the Nigerian Mission in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, in line with Federal Government guidelines for the evacuation of Nigerian Nationals stranded in different parts of the world due to the COVID-19 pandemic has been engaging relevant host authorities to facilitate the evacuation of Nigerians from the Kingdom.
“Though the Saudi Airlines fixed 8th July and 1st August, 2020 respectively, the Airline never informed the Embassy of the dates or sought for approval of the proposed dates from Nigeria either through the Embassy of Nigeria in Riyadh or the Consulate General of Nigeria in Jedda, which is against the spirit of established diplomatic protocols, hence the inability to operate the said flights.