Last batch of deportees arrive Abuja Airport from Saudi Arabia

By The Citizen

The last batch of the 518 Nigerians to be repatriated from Saudi Arabia have arrived at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja on Tuesday.

The Director, Consular and Immigration Service in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr Abdulazeez Dan-Kano, told newsmen at the airport that 131 deportees were transported home in the last batch.

According to Dan-Kano, 51 of the deportees are from Kano State, while 17 are from Borno, with 16 from Katsina State, and 11 from Yobe.

He said nine of the deportees are from Jigawa, six from Plateau, while Kaduna and Bauchi States had five and four deportees respectively.

The director said Edo had three deportees, while Nasarawa had two with one deportee each from Kebbi, Ogun, Niger and Adamawa States.

Dan-Kano said the 518 deportees arrived in the country in six batches between Dec. 25 and Dec. 31.

He appealed to Nigerians still hiding in slums in Saudi Arabia to embrace the benevolence of the Federal Government and return home to avoid the wrath of the Saudi authorities.

Dan-Kano said the Nigerian Embassy in Saudi Arabia had since commenced sensitisation campaign on the need for proper documentation of Nigerians who were legally residing in the country.

He said that most of the deportees are Nigerians who travelled to Saudi Arabia for Umrah, but stayed back at the end of the exercise in search of “greener pastures''.

The director said the affected Nigerians had requested government's assistance to facilitate their return home.

Dan-Kano stated that the Saudi Government had also commenced the deportation of more than 951 Nigerians in its custody.

He said the affected Nigerians were arrested by the Saudi authorities at the expiration of its November deadline for all illegal immigrants to leave the country.

Officials of the National Emergency Management Agency were at the airport to register and provide relief to the deportees.

Some state emergency management agencies were at the airport to transport their indigenes back home.