At least 376 of the first batch of Nigerians who were evacuated from Sudan arrived at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja on Wednesday night.
Air Peace, one of Nigeria’s biggest carriers, airlifted 277 people while Nigeria’s military jet brought others.
The Nigerians in the Diaspora Commission shared photos of the arrival Thursday morning, via Twitter.
The commission shared photos of the evacuees and wrote, “The first batch of Nigerians who fled war-torn Sudan arrived via military jet C13 at Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport at about 2340HRS with an estimate of 376 evacuees.”
Air Peace deployed one of its wide-body Boeing 777 aircraft with Registration Number 5N-BVE, to operate the evacuation flight while the Nigerian Air Force used a jet C13. Both aircrafts arrived at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, Wednesday, May 4, 2023. Over 5,000 Nigerians are expected to be repatriated from Sudan in the coming days.
Air Peace’s Boeing 777 departed the Murtala Muhammed International Airport Lagos at 15:10hrs on Tuesday, May 2, 2023.
Allen Onyema, Chairman of Air Peace, had offered to freely airlift Nigerians from the war-hit country of Sudan, requesting the Federal Government to get them to a neighbouring country, as the Sudanese airspace is temporarily closed for civil aviation.
Onyema said the stranded Nigerians needed urgent assistance, adding that: “I am compelled to help because Nigeria cannot afford to lose her citizens in that country. It would be my own commitment to making sure that the stranded Nigerians in the war-torn country are safe.
“Everything must not be left for the government alone, especially as the situation calls for urgency and immediate action”.
He stated in a recent interview on Arise TV, that he was ready to deploy three aircraft, including the jumbo Boeing 777, to airlift his fellow countrymen seeking safety from the troubled North African country.
With the arrival of this flight, Onyema has made good his promise and thanked the Federal Government for its role in making the evacuation flight possible.
This is not the first time Onyema has magnanimously deployed his aircraft for humanitarian purposes.
In 2019 Onyema’s Air Peace airlifted 503 stranded Nigerians from South Africa for free amid the xenophobic crisis at the time.
During the COVID-19 period in 2020, some of his aircraft were also used for repatriation of Nigerians from several countries, not forgetting the evacuation flights operated by his airline during the Ukraine-Russia crisis in 2022.