22ND OF APRIL, 2023

We have watched with increasing alarm and despair the unfolding tragedy in Sudan as a result of the ongoing War in that country be

tween two major factions of the Military; the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) led by General Mohammed Hamdan Dagalo and the Sudanese Army commanded by General Abdul Fattah al-Burhan which has led to untold human carnage and destruction of properties of citizens of that nation.

At this point, we are not specially concerned about the history and immediate causes of the war but are worried because many Nigerians have become unwitting victims of the war and are stranded in that country and unable to get out. They have cried out for help to escape the horrors which the war has continued to mete out to persons still trapped in Sudan.

The NLC is worried that since the war broke out towards the end of last week, reports reaching us on the number of human casualties are horrendous and frightening thus leaves every patriot anxious about the safety of our nationals in that country especially that of our students.

We believe that it remains the responsibility of any government to ensure the safety of their nationals which includes making sure that in the event of a war in foreign countries, their citizens are protected in whatever way possible. This is one of the central reasons of governance: the safety of lives and properties.

While we commiserate with the people and workers of Sudan and call for an immediate ceasefire to allow for a peaceful resolution of the issues in dispute that led to the war, we are at a loss as to why the federal government of Nigeria finds it difficult to guarantee the safety of the lives of our citizens in that country beyond the tokenism effort at protection through an advisory to all Nigerians in that country to either seek refuge in our embassy in Khartoum or stay indoors which they believe is safer.

The excuse that attempting to evacuate our nationals through the Airport is risky begs the question and is unacceptable. We do not understand whether other possible options at evacuating our citizens have been explored before relapsing to this seeming helplessness and apparent abandonment of our citizens who are obviously in great distress and are afraid for their lives on daily basis?

It is trite diplomacy that in such a situation, serious governments will reach an understanding with the warring parties for the removal of their nationals from the theatre of war which drastically reduces the risk of loss of lives and that of the equipment used in such operations. If the Airports are not safe as suggested by government, can we not work out a safe=corridor to neighbouring countries to allow our citizens safe passage and evacuated through the various land borders?

We also suggest that the government work out an arrangement with the international community to create a safe heaven for all foreign nationals in the country to serve as a buffer to all foreign nationals against the vagaries of the War while peace effort is being made or other safer methods of evacuation are developed.

Our concern is that while our government resorts to the usual lethargy and excuses, the lives of our nationals in Sudan already exposed to serious danger may begin to experience losses or injuries. We urge the federal government through the concerned agencies and Ministries to take urgent step to avoid death and injuries to our citizens in that country.

Nigerians must not be allowed to die in Sudan because of negligence. No effort should be spared in ensuring their safety and ultimately evacuation to Nigeria if the War persists and escalates into a full blown war. It remains the duty of the government and we urge the federal government to make this happen unless they want to tell us that these lives are not as important as the lives of the children of those in authority and does not deserve to be protected?

As we await a quick and positive action towards evacuating our citizens, we would want measures to be put in place to make their lives comfortable on arrival especially for those who own businesses in the Sudan and have suffered loss of businesses as a result. It does not make sense bringing them home without putting in place proper platforms to take care of their needs here.

Comrade Joe Ajaero President

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