The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has said Nigerians in a viral video who claimed to have been compelled to flee to the desert by the United Arab Authorities could return home from August 29 when international air travel would commence.
The footage showed the stranded individuals standing in an open ground outside a city believed to be Dubai.
The authors of the footage had accused the UAE of racism, noting that they were prevented from departing that country.
But the spokesman, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr Ferdinand Nwonye, said the Nigerian mission in UAE had carried out the evacuation of many Nigerians, noting that those shown in the video could return to Nigeria on their own.
He said, “Our mission in UAE has been carrying out evacuation of stranded Nigerians and those who were serious have been brought back.
“For those in the video, they can hang on till August 29 when international air travel will commence and they would be free to come back on their own.”
Commenting on the video, the Chairman, Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, stated that the protesters who were mostly irregular migrants were asked to leave the UAE on March 1, but the deadline was later extended to August 17.
She explained that the authorities provided free evacuation flights which the protesters allegedly snubbed.
Dabiri-Erewa said, “179 came back on Saturday free of charge, but some are still bent on hiding and breaking the laws. You shouldn’t stay illegally anywhere.”