The Ministry of Foreign Affairs have continued the evacuation of Nigerians living abroad who had appealed to the Federal Government to return back to the country, as 269 Nigerians were received Friday through Saturday in Lagos and Abuja international airports, just as Nigeria was celebrating Democracy Day. The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, NCDC, liaised with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Port Health Services, to receive the returnees. They provided the returnees with guidance as well as materials, for the observation of the mandatory 14-day self-isolation. They came via Air Peace.
According to the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, despite plenty of challenges, the Ministry has continued to seek for avenues for the teeming number of Nigerians living or stranded in other parts of the world to be evacuated home. He said that Nigeria has already brought 103 citizens from Egypt through Egypt Air several days ago.
There seem to be a rise in the clamour by Nigerians living in other parts of the world, including the developed countries like USA and UK, to return home during the global lockdown necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Many citizens of Nigeria have also reported abuse in the hands of their hosts or employers abroad. The Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, NiDCOM, has made lots of efforts to alleviate such incidence. However, the number of people in need of return seem to be overwhelming. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs had some time ago, admitted that it may not be able to get every Nigerian willing to return back during this time, back home but she will continue to do everything possible to bring as much as she can.
This persistent clamour is evidence that prejudice has heightened against foreigners in other parts of the world. And Nigeria is an easy target because of the sheer number Nigerians staying abroad. A recent case is the hate campaign going on right about this moment, in the social media, by South Africans against Nigerians. The hash tags #NigeriansMustFall and #NigeriansMustGo have been trending in the Southern Africa country for the past 48 hours, re-enforcing fears of recurrence of the bloody xenophobic clashes of 2019.