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Nigerians evacuated from UK fight proceeded with isolation, poor treatment

Nigerians quarantined by the  Federal Government since their evacuation  from the United Kingdom on Saturday protested  against their continued isolation in Abuja.

The FG’s  COVID-19 policy for  passengers  flying into the country stipulates institutionalised isolation for 14 days.

However, videos showing the evacuees  protesting at Barcelona Hotel, Wuse 2, in the Federal Capital Territory have gone viral  on social media.

They complained that since their return to Nigeria on May 8, their passports had not been returned to them, neither had any government official addressed them.

One of the face mask-wearing protesters said, “They are just keeping us here to make money. Yes, the more they keep you here, the more money they make.”

Another yet-to-be-identified protester, speaking to someone off camera, said, “If we don’t fly tomorrow, the permit the airline has secured is cancelled. We have spent only two months abroad just for a two-week vacation. We have not worked for a single day. We left our families back home, stranded.

Read more more: Kaduna Health Workers Dare El-Rufai, Embark on Warning Strike

“Government has kept us here. Since we came on May 8, nobody has come to address us, except you that are talking to us. You are the first person coming to address us. We are not animals; this is our country. The place we have come from, they did not treat us this way.”

Another evacuee  said, “We even had tests there.”

The unidentified protester, who donned a red T-shirt, added that each evacuees paid £350 to conduct COVID-19 tests before their departure from the UK.

He said, “That is over N200,000, and they still haven’t addressed us. When we landed in Lagos, it was the same treatment. (For) five hours, we were under the sun, standing. Nobody gave us anything. Are we criminals? Is it a crime to go  on holiday abroad?

“Where we were coming from, we were treated as human beings. Why is our country treating us this way? Then you will come tomorrow and tell me to love my country?

“I left my four-year-old children for over two months for a two-week vacation. I’ve not been to the office for two months. And they have not come to talk to us at this minute. It is very unfair.”

Efforts to get the reaction of the Ministry of Heath to the plight of the evacuees proved abortive as its spokesperson, Jimi Oyetomi, did not respond to calls and a text message to his line.

Similarly, calls and a text message to the Senior Special Assistant on Media and Strategic Communications to the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Abubakar Sani, were not answered.

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