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Nigeria evacuates 29 stranded Nigerians from Lebanon

The Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM) says that 29 Nigerians who were stranded in Lebanon have been successfully evacuated to the country.The Commission said on Saturday in Abuja that the evacuees arrived at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja on Saturday afternoon and were received by the officials of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons and the House of Representatives Committee on Diaspora Affairs, among others.

A 31-year-old Nigerian lady, Temitope Arowolo, who was being prosecuted in Lebanon over alleged theft and attempted murder was among the returnees.

Another Nigerian lady, Peace Busari, who was offered for sale on Facebook for $1000 by her Syrian employer in Lebanon, Wael Jerro, was also among the returnees.

Arowolo told journalists on arrival that Lebanon was like a hell for her. She cautioned Nigerians, especially young girls to stop embarking on trips in search of greener pastures outside Nigeria.

“I’m happy being home. Going to Lebanon is like (going to) a hell. Nobody knows that will happen there. I advise other girls to stay here in Nigeria and try to make it the way the Lord puts them through, because going outside there was like a hell, not only in Lebanon. What I experienced in Lebanon, I pray even not for Satan to experience it,” she said.

According to Nigerian officials, Arowolo’s employer had accused her of stealing $5,000 and attempting to kill him. But her prosecution in court was stalled when her accusers failed to show up.

The officials added that Arowolo suffered abuse and sexual harassment from the husband of her employer, Mahmoud Zahran, during her sojourn in Lebanon. 

The two ladies were rescued by the Nigerian mission in Lebanon.

Meanwhile, the Commission said that Air Peace aircraft was in the process of evacuating stranded Nigerians in Malaysia and Thailand. 

The Commission said in a tweet on Saturday that “Chartered @airpeace flight APK-7813 conveying stranded Nigerians from Malaysia and Thailand departing Kaula Lumpur to Abuja and Lagos today with Evacuees from Malaysia and Thailand onboard”.

According to NIDCOM, this is the first evacuation from both countries since the coronavirus pandemic instigated lockdowns across the world.

It stated that the flight is expected to arrive at the Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport, Abuja, before proceeding to the Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos.

The Commission said that all the evacuees had tested negative to COVID-19 and would proceed on a 14-day self-isolation on arrival in Nigeria.

The Nigerian government has evacuated thousands of Nigerians back home from across the world since the pandemic disrupted world travel.

Published on 28.04.2020

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