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Why some Nigerians weren’t evacuated from India —FG

The Federal Government on Saturday explained why it did not evacuate all Nigerians from India, who had been in the custody of Indian authorities.

According to a statement by the Spokesperson, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Francisca Omayuli, those left behind did not meet evacuation requirements set by the Foreigner Regional Registration Offices.

Omayuli said they had no record of entry into India or entered with another passport other than Nigerian passport.

The Federal Government had on  Friday, 16th December, 2022 evacuated a total number of 191 Nigerians  from India on a special flight.

The number comprised 152 males, 43 females and an infant.

The evacuees, according to information, were  Nigerians who had been in the custody of the Indian authorities, awaiting deportation for reasons such as overstay and completion of various prison terms.

The government therefore said those who were not evacuated along with the said number had not gone through the required procedure for repatriation

The ministry however assured them that a proper arrangement would be made for their evacuation.

The statement reads in part, “The attention of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has been drawn to a video making rounds on social media, showing some stranded Nigerians at the  Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi, India. The said Nigerians were purportedly refused evacuation to Nigeria on Friday, December 16, 2022.

“This information is inaccurate, misleading and not well intended. The Federal Government of Nigeria on Friday, December 16, 2022, provided a chartered flight to evacuate Nigerians who had been in the custody of the Indian authorities, awaiting deportation for reasons such as overstay and completion of various prison terms.

“However, some other persons who had not gone through the required procedure for repatriation showed up at the airport on the day of the flight to request evacuation. Following the intervention of the Nigerian High Commission and officials handling the evacuation exercise, a number of this category of persons who met the conditions for repatriation were cleared and accommodated on the flight.  Consequently, a total number of 191 Nigerians were evacuated from India on the special flight, excluding five officials. This number comprised 152 males, 43 females and an infant.

“However, a few other Nigerians couldn’t make the evacuation flight due to their inability to meet the required conditions set by the Foreigner Regional Registration Offices  of the Indian Bureau of Immigration, for reasons such as, no records of entry into India; children with proxy parents; those who entered India with passports other than Nigerian passports, presentation of undocumented forms; and inability to file the application form for exit permit.”

She added that “the Nigerian High Commission in India has appealed to those who could not make the evacuation list to exercise patience and understanding, while efforts are being made to ensure that all affected Nigerians are accommodated in the next batch of the evacuation exercise.”

The ministry also urged Nigerians to have adequate knowledge of the country they are going to.

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, therefore, wishes to emphasise the imperative of being knowledgeable about the entry and exit procedures of the country being visited, so as to be well guided to avoid unpleasant consequences.”

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