The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has denied allegations that it was frustrating the evacuation process of  Nigerian students studying in Saudi Arabia.

The spokesperson for the ministry, Ferdinand Nwonye said in a recent statement that the claims relating to that effect were "totally false" against what was going round on social media. 



It should be recalled that students had accused the Embassy of Nigeria in Riyadh and the Consul General of Nigeria in Jedda of refusing to organize and fast track the evacuation process out of the kingdom. Mr Nwonye described these allegations as "unpatriotic".

He affirmed that the Nigerian Embassy in Saudi Arabia has been working hand to hand with the host authorities to ensure a smooth evacuation of Nigerians from the kingdom. 
The statement reads thus; 

“The attention of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has been drawn to a misleading video in circulation, fabricated by some misguided, unpatriotic and ungrateful Nigerian students in Saudi Arabia.

“There are also attendant media reports alleging that the Government of Nigeria, particularly the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Embassy of NThere are also attendant media reports alleging that the Government of Nigeria, particularly the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Embassy of Nigeria in Riyadh and the Consulate General of Nigeria in Jeddah, have deliberately refused to facilitate their evacuation to Nigeria for holiday, since May 15, 2020.

“The group further alleged that the Embassy of Nigeria in Riyadh and the Consulate General of Nigeria in Jeddah refused to issue permits to students to travel home.It further alleged that government failed to secure flight clearance and landing permit for the Saudi Arabian Airlines to airlift Nigerians from the Kingdom.

“The ministry wishes to state that the Nigerian Mission in Saudi Arabia, in line with guidelines for the evacuation of Nigerian Nationals stranded in different parts of the world due to the COVID-19 pandemic, has been engaging relevant host authorities to facilitate the evacuation of Nigerians from the Kingdom.”

Nwonye also stated that despite the fact that the Saudi airlines had fixed July 8th and August 1st, they never informed the Embassy or sought approval from relevant authorities in Nigeria 

He said; 
Neither the Embassy of Nigeria in Riyadh nor the Consulate General of Nigeria in Jeddah was informed, which is against the spirit of established diplomatic protocols, hence the inability to operate the said flights

He said that the Ministry of Foreign affairs in Nigeria would love to strengthen the record that the Embassy never requested for any commmison from the airlines as against the rumors spread by the misinformed students 

He also went further to reveal that the allegations leveled against the ministry has already been debunked by the leadership of the Nigerian students in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Mr Nwonye the spokesperson, also recalled that about 117 Nigerians were evacuated from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia due to the proactiveness of the Nigerian Embassy in the Kingdom.

To be specific, he stated that the Nigerians were evacuated via the Azman Air Services Limited, Flight No: ZQ381, on July 19th. He further affirmed that the Nigerian Embassy in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is making sure that due processes and guidelines are strictly adhered to ensure safe evacuation of the Nigerian citizens.

In his words the spokesperson said
The unfortunate allegation by the misinformed students is absolutely false and should be disregarded.