No fewer than 27 stranded Nigerian girls in Lebanon have been airlifted back to the country and would be placed under fourteen days of compulsory isolation in line with the Federal Government measures to curb spread of coronavirus.
The stranded girls, who arrived at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja on Sunday, were among stranded Nigerians in Lebanon pleading for their safe return to the country.
As stated, the evacuation was achieved by collaborative efforts by the Nigerian and Lebanese governments, as well as its community in Nigeria, and that the development was in fulfillment of President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration’s promise to ensure no Nigerian is left stranded in Lebanon.
The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, said that the collaboration had been made to ensure the stranded Nigerians in the country were airlifted back to the country and that plans had been put in place to ensure their reintegration.
The minister, represented by the ministry’s spokesperson, Ferdinand Nwonye, while receiving the evacuees noted that the apex government was aware of the unfortunate situation the evacuees experienced in their former host country.
“I am here on behalf of the Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs who facilitated this return, together with the Ministry of Aviation, Embassy of Nigeria in Beirut, the Lebanese Embassy in Nigeria and the Lebanese community in Nigeria.
“These are the individuals and institutions that made it possible for you to be here today. It is unfortunate the situation you passed through; which is why the Ministries concerned made sure you are here today and we are telling you that you are now home today and nothing will happen to you.
“Make sure you follow the protocols they advised you on; you know what to do to recover your passports again. You are welcome back home and I wish you journey mercies to your various destinations,’’ Nwonye said.
He added that the stranded Nigerians were evacuated in line with the government guidelines on COVID-19 evacuations and that the girls tested negative for COVID-19 before embarking on the journey and would be allowed to go home after 14 days of self-isolation.
He explained that their passports were retrieved from them upon arrival and they are expected to collect them back with proof of COVID-19 tests which they are expected to take again once they complete their 14-day self-isolation.
The spokesperson said the girls were tested in Beirut before embarking on the journey and they were also profiled on arrival.