There were scenes of joy and relief as the first set of Nigerians — mostly students — stranded in war-torn Sudan returned home on Wednesday.
Some of the Nigerians evacuated from Egypt by Air Peace arrived at the Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport, Abuja at about 11:30pm on Wednesday.
The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) plane conveying another set of Nigerians also touched down at the airport in Abuja at about 12 midnight.
The evacuees were screened by officials of the ministry of health upon arrival in the country.
Sadiya Farouk, Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management, said each returnee would be given N100,000.Another batch of evacuees from Sudan is expected to return to the country on Thursday.
Abike Dabiri-Erewa, chairperson of the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM), had earlier told journalists that 376 Nigerians were expected in the first batch.
She said 90 persons, including women and children, were on the NAF plane while the rest were aboard the Air Peace plane.
On Tuesday, the Air Peace aircraft landed in Egypt in preparation to airlift the stranded Nigerians back home.
The NAF evacuation team also left for Aswan Airport in Egypt on April 29 for the same operation.
The citizens evacuated from Sudan had been stranded at the Egyptian border following visa issues.
However, on Monday, Dabiri-Erewa said the border was opened after President Muhammadu Buhari spoke with Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, the Egyptian president.
The first set of evacuated Nigerians were initially expected to arrive in the country on Friday.