NLC urges FG to guarantee safety of Nigerians in Sudan

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has urged the Federal Government to guarantee the safety of lives of Nigerians in the ongoing war in Sudan.

Mr Joe Ajaero, NLC President, said this on Saturday in Abuja in a statement titled, “Nigerians in Sudan Should Not Die’’.

According to Ajaero, “we have watched with increasing alarm and despair the unfolding tragedy in Sudan as a result of the ongoing war in that country.

“That is between two major factions of the Military; the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), led by Gen. Mohammed Hamdan Dagalo, and the Sudanese Army, commanded by Gen. Abdul Fattah al-Burhan, which has led to untold human carnage and destruction of properties of citizens of that nation.

“At this point, we are not especially concerned about the history and immediate causes of the war but are worried because many Nigerians have become unwitting victims of the war and are stranded in that country and unable to get out.

“They have cried out for help to escape the horrors which the war has continued to mete out to persons still trapped in Sudan,’’ he said.

He said that the NLC was worried that since the war broke out towards the end of last week, reports have said that the number of human casualties were horrendous and frightening.

He added this leaves every patriot anxious about the safety of our nationals in that country, especially that of our students.

According to Ajaero, “we believe that it remains the responsibility of any government to ensure the safety of their nationals.”

He said this includes making sure that in the event of a war in foreign countries, their citizens are protected in whatever way possible.

He noted that this was one of the central reasons of governance: the safety of lives and properties.

Ajaero added “we are at a loss as to why the federal government of Nigeria finds it difficult to guarantee the safety of the lives of our citizens in that country.”

He said that this was beyond the tokenism effort at protection through an advisory to all Nigerians in that country to either seek refuge in Nigeria’s embassy in Khartoum or stay indoors which they believed was safer.

The NLC president also said the excuse that attempting to evacuate Nigeria nationals through the Airport was risky begs the question and is unacceptable.

“We do not understand whether other possible options at evacuating our citizens have been explored before relapsing to this seeming helplessness and apparent abandonment of our citizens who are obviously in great distress and are afraid for their lives on daily basis?

“It is trite diplomacy that in such a situation, serious governments will reach an understanding with the warring parties for the removal of their nationals from the theatre of war which drastically reduces the risk of loss of lives and that of the equipment used in such operations.

“If the airports are not safe as suggested by the government, can we not work out a safe-corridor to neighbouring countries to allow our citizens safe passage and evacuated through the various land borders,’’ he asked.

He also suggested that the government should work out an arrangement with the international community to create a safe heaven for all foreign nationals in that country.

“Our concern is that while our government resorts to the usual lethargy and excuses, the lives of our nationals in Sudan already exposed to serious danger may begin to experience losses or injuries.

“We urge the federal government through the concerned agencies and Ministries to take urgent step to avoid death and injuries to our citizens in that country.

“Nigerians must not be allowed to die in Sudan because of negligence. No effort should be spared in ensuring their safety and ultimately evacuation to Nigeria if the war persists and escalates into a full blown war.

“It remains the duty of the government and we urge the federal government to make this happen.

“As we await a quick and positive action towards evacuating our citizens, we would want measures to be put in place to make their lives comfortable on arrival, especially for those who own businesses in the Sudan and have suffered loss of businesses as a result,’’ he said.

Ajaero, however, commiserated with the people of Sudan, while calling for an immediate ceasefire to allow for a peaceful resolution of the issues in dispute that led to the war. (NAN)

Related Articles