The Federal Government has explained why it did not evacuate all Nigerians from India, who had been in the custody of Indian authorities.
According to a statement issued by the Spokesperson on Saturday, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Francisca Omayuli, said that 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.
Recall that 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 press release reads: “The attention of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has been drawn to the video making the 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, 16th December, 2022.
“The information is inaccurate, misleading and not well intended.
“The Federal Government of Nigeria on Friday, 16th December, 2022 provided a chartered flight to evacuate Nigerians who had been in custody of the Indian authorities, awaiting deportation for reasons such as over stay 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 evacuation were cleared and accommodated on the flight.
“Consequently, a total number of 191 were evacuated from India on the special flight, excluding five officials.
“This number comprised of 152 males, 42 females and an infant.
“However, a few other Nigerians couldn’t make the evacuation flight due to their inability to meet with the required condition set by the Foreigner Regional Officer of the Indian Bureau of Immigration for reasons such as no record of entry into India, children with proxy parents, those who entered India with passport other than Nigerian passport, presentation of documentation of FRO forms; and inability to file the application form for exit permit.
“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.
“In the meantime, the Federal Government is deeply concerned about what has become a trend, where some travel to foreign countries on their own volition, and become stranded due to insufficient knowledge of the country and inadequate preparation.
“Equally worrisome are those who have made it a habit to at the spur of the moment, take advantage of the slightest opportunity to propagate unverified information on issues they have little or no knowledge about.
“These attitudes cause unnecessary anxiety in families and misinform the general public.
“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, therefore wishes to emphasize the imperative of being knowledgeable about the entry and exit procedure of the country being visited, so as to be well guarded to avoid unpleasant consequences.”