The outgoing Speaker of the 9th House of Representatives, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, on Tuesday, unveiled plans to invite the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama over the planned evacuation of stranded Nigerians in the war-prone Sudan.
Other stakeholders invited are officials of the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM) and the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA).
The Speaker who disclosed this while delivering his welcome address on resumption from the two weeks recess for the Easter and Ramadan recess, expressed grave concern over the inter-agency disagreements arising from overlapping mandates and the absence of established operational guidelines for such circumstances.
He said: “Over the last few weeks, the Republic of Sudan has descended into war. Unfortunately, this rapid descent into the carnage of violent conflict has entrapped many Nigerians resident in that country.
“Efforts are underway to ensure that our Citizens resident in the Republic of Sudan, as students, business people and in other vocations, are evacuated quickly and safely.
“I have requested the chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs to invite the honorable Minister of Foreign Affairs and officials from the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM) and the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to appear before the House to give an account of the status of evacuation efforts.
“The House is aware of ongoing difficulties with the evacuation efforts and the Federal Government’s response to the developments in the Republic of Sudan.
“We are also mindful that some of these difficulties flow from inter Agency disagreements arising from overlapping mandates and the absence of established operational guidelines for such circumstances.
“While our priority is to ensure the welfare and well-being of our fellow citizens caught in this war, we must further revisit the statutory and other frameworks that have left us seemingly unprepared to respond promptly and effectively.
“The conflict in the Republic of Sudan reminds us once more of the fragility of nations.
“In pursuing our political objectives, we must never lose sight of the fundamental truth that in war, everybody loses; in peace, everybody can win.
“All our personal, partisan and sectional interests must always succumb to the overarching and overriding interest of ensuring the unity and stability of Nigeria.
“If we fail in this regard, nothing else will matter, and none of us will be absolved in the judgment of history,” he noted.