FG has no plans to evacuate Nigerians from Israel, Palestine as no one has asked
The Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM) said on Tuesday that it had not received distress calls from any individual or group of Nigerians living in the theatre of the ongoing conflict between Israel and Palestine.
NIDCOM says it can only act when it receives distress calls from people in troubled countries.
The spokesman for the commission, Abdur-Rahman Balogun, said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja.
Balogun was reacting to a question on what the Federal Government is doing to evacuate Nigerian citizens living in the battle zone in the Middle East.
Thousands of foreigners were stuck in Israel and across the Palestinian territories, where a full-blown war erupted since Hamas militants launched their attack.
With the violence having already claimed thousands of lives on both sides, several countries have launched operations to repatriate their citizens, while others are planning to do so.
So far, the United States, Germany, Ukraine, Thailand, South Korea, Austria, Brazil, and Argentina are among the countries that have repatriated their citizens.
The NiDCOM spokesperson said citizens of other countries made distress calls to their home governments for help “but we have not received any from our citizens from that area.”
He recalled that the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Yusuf Tuggar, had released a statement saying Nigerian Diasporas were not under pressure because of the war in the Gaza Strip.
According to him, the commission can only act when it receives distress calls from people in troubled countries.
He added that when NiDCOM and other relevant agencies in the country received distress calls from Nigerians living in China, during the outbreak of the coronavirus, and from Ukraine and Sudan when the wars broke out in the areas, “we responded and many of our citizens were repatriated.”
At least 5,791 Palestinians have been killed in the strikes on the Hamas-ruled enclave since October 7 when the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas stormed into Israel killing many and taking 150 people hostage.
The army ordered more than one million people to leave northern Gaza within 24 hours in advance of an imminent military ground operation.
Nearly 5,100 Palestinians have been killed in the Gaza Strip since Israel launched a relentless bombing campaign against the besieged enclave after an attack by Hamas inside Israel more than two weeks ago.
More than 1,400 people have been killed in Israel since the war began, mostly civilians killed in the initial Hamas assault.