By Leke Baiyewu
The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, has assured that the Nigerian Parliament will investigate the delay by the Egyptian Government to allow Nigerians evacuated from war-torn Sudan into its territories.
Gbajabiamila noted that the House will look into the remote and immediate circumstances that led to the hard diplomatic stance of the Egyptian authorities over the plight of Nigerian evacuees.
The Speaker added that the House would examine, to eliminate the “apparent confusion” over the roles and jurisdiction of relevant ministries, departments and agencies of the Federal Government in the management of the crisis involving Nigerians abroad.
Gbajabiamila made this known at a ‘situation report and update meeting’ on the evacuation of Nigerians from the conflict in Sudan, via a statement titled – ‘Sudan Crisis: Reps to Probe Egypt’s Reluctance to Grant Returning Nigerians Access into its Territories – Gbajabiamila…Speaker Meets FG Ministries, Assures on Safety of Returnees.’
The statement was issued by the Special Adviser to the Speaker on Media and Publicity, Lanre Lasisi, on Tuesday.
Those at the meeting included – the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Zubair Dada; Chairman/Chief Executive Officer, Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, Abike Dabiri-Erewa; Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Social Development, Nasir Gwarzo; and other officials of government.
The statement quoted the Speaker to have said no room should be spared to scuttle the efforts of the FG to safely evacuate Nigerians back home.
“Our concern is to bring every Nigerian who wants to return home to Nigeria,” Gbajabiamila remarked.
The Speaker said he was unhappy with the report that though Nigerians were evacuated from Sudan, they got delayed at the Egyptian borders because the authorities there denied them access into their territories to continue with their journey.
As a result, he assured the government officials that the House would look into the matter and ensure that such does not happen again.
Gbajabiamila stressed, “Now, we know what has been done so far. It is also heart-warming that borders are now open in Egypt. But we will take it up in parliament to find out why they didn’t open the borders in time, especially in a period of crisis like this. We are happy that all 5,500 Nigerians willing to leave Khartoum have been evacuated and are on their way home to Nigeria.”