On Wednesday, May 6th, an Emirates aircraft brought 256 stranded Nigerians in Dubai back to the country.
The evacuation was necessitated by the current COVID-19 pandemic which has unsettled many activities in the world.
The arrival of the Nigerian nationals was delayed after a woman, Mrs. Kafayat Amusan went into labour shortly after the plane took off on Wednesday. The Emirates aircraft conveying the 256 Nigerians arrived at about 7:40p.m on Thursday.
On arrival, some of the returnees were taken to Orchid Hotel Lekki, Lagos which serves as the quarantine centre. They are expected to be there for 14 days. According to one of the returnees who spoke exclusively with ALEDEH, the treatment given to them since their arrival has been very poor.
The returnee said; “Immigrations took our passports on arrival and moved us to a hotel in Lekki where we’ve been quarantined. We all tested negative to COVID-19 in Dubai before traveling. We are not even allowed to go outside here just to get some sunlight,”
Complaining about how terrible the food at the quarantine centre is, he said; “The food given to us is very bad and soldiers are everywhere, we are not allowed to get our food of choice outside. Even the water they give is just one or two bottles when we can actually have packs to use.”
When further quizzed about any government official coming to check on them, he said “no government official has come here. Earlier today, some people who said they are health workers came to ask some questions and that’s all.”
Explaining the situation of the woman who went into labour. The returnee said “it happened 5 to 10 minutes after the plane took off. We had to go back to Dubai so she could get medical attention. Some medical officials then came into the plane and delivered her of a baby.”
The Nigerians in the Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM) had said that the woman was taken to a Dubai hospital where mother and her baby boy are getting medical attention.
“The Nigerian ambassador in Dubai, Ambassador Rimi and staff of the embassy are in touch with the mother and child who are in good condition,” said the commission. The woman will return to Nigeria when a certificate of birth has been obtained for her baby, according to the Chairperson of the Nigerians in the Diaspora Commission, Abike Dabiri-Erewa.
The situation of the Nigerians at the quarantine centre calls for an urgent improvement by the federal government as their health is at stake and their immunity is of utmost importance at this period.