President Muhammadu Buhari-led government on Friday announced that it would evacuate the 600 Nigerians detained in Saudi Arabia prison for expired visa on January 28 and 29.
The Chairman, Nigerians in the Diaspora Commission, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, who noted that they would be evacuated in batches of 400 and 200, said their evacuation was delayed due to issues relating to COVID-19.
Naija News had earlier reported that the stranded Nigerians were detained by the Saudi authorities pending their repatriation.
A video was spotted on the internet showing Nigerians lamenting the hardship they were facing at the detention facility.
The immigrants wrapped in black polythene bags were lying on the floor in a packed room.
A voice in the video said, “We are here more than three months, six months, seven months ago, without any action, no better information on transport to Nigeria.”
“According to the rules and regulations of this location, we are not supposed to be here for more than two weeks.”
“Most nationals of other countries have been flown back to their countries. Only we Nigerians don’t have any source or way of getting back.”
Dabiri-Erewa who took to her Twitter account on Friday said the stranded citizens would soon be evacuated back home.
She stated, “Nigerian irregular migrants in Saudi Arabia are due to be evacuated on the 28 and 29th of January, pending any unforeseen issues. Their evacuation was delayed due to issues relating to COVID-19. We appeal to Nigerians to resist travelling abroad without proper documents.”