As many Nigerians abroad are looking forward to return back to the country, some stranded Nigerians in Saudi Arabia have appealed to the Federal Government and the Diaspora Commission to evacuate them home.
These Nigerians, who said they went to Saudi Arabia to work, complained of suffering, as the Kingdom battles COVID-19 pandemic.
Saudi Arabia is the second worst hit country by the pandemic after Iran, in the Arab world. It has over 282,000 cases and 3020 deaths as at Wednesday.
The epidemic made the Kingdom ban foreign pilgrims from coming to perform the yearly Hajj.
The stranded Nigerians complained that the Nigerian embassy in the Kingdom is doing nothing to help them.
Frustrated, they reached out to Nollywood actress Toyin Abraham, who posted two videos sent by the ladies.
In Posting the videos, Toyin wrote: “I got this video from some Nigerians in Saudi Arabia. It made me cry. I am so sad right now. Please Federal Government stand up for these people. How long will Nigerians will continue to feel like we have no leader?Please evacuate our people. Nigerians should not be subjected to suffering simply because we carry green passports. I am truly sad. So sad.”
Meanwhile, the Nigerian government is arranging to evacuate some 32 Nigerian women also stranded in Lebanon.
They have been located and moved to a more conducive environment and will be flown home beginning from 12 August.
Reacting, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, Chairman of Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, NIDCOM, assured that the commission was working together with the Saudi institution to bring back about 200 prisoners.
She also directed the lady in the video and others stranded in Saudi Arabia to report to the mission on Sunday and register in order to seek permission and process their return.
On her Twitter page, the NIDCOM Chairman wrote: “There are processes and procedures to follow. Saudi institutions are on holidays. They resume Sunday.
“Rather than come anonymously here, from Sunday when they open for work, they should go to the mission to register. The mission will then appeal for permit, etc. and they will return.
“Moreso it’s the prisoners ( about 200) that the Saudis want to bring back. They want to decongest their deportation centres. But the bone of contention now is that the prisoners must get their COVID-19 tests done before evacuation. Discussions will continue after they resume on Sunday.”