Saudi Arabia cancels visa; the FG urges composure
The Federal Government has reacted to the deportation of passengers airlifted from Nigeria on Sunday, November 12, 2023, to Saudi Arabia.
GISTS VILLA recalls that 264 passengers were notified that their visa had been cancelled when they landed at the King Abdulaziz International Airport, Hajj Terminal Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, on Monday, November 13, 2023.
It was gathered that 177 passengers were made to return on the same flight back to Nigeria, while 87 passengers were cleared by immigration and allowed entry into Jeddah.
A statement issued by Francisca K. Omayuli, the spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, called for calm over the situation, adding that the investigation is still ongoing.
According to the statement, “The Saudi authorities are yet to give reasons for the cancellation of the visas, except for 18 of the passengers who were outrightly banned from Saudi Arabia for various offenses committed in the past.
“Notwithstanding the fact that it is the prerogative of a sovereign nation to determine who is permitted entry into its territory, Nigeria and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia are traditional and strategic partners who are willing to guard against the reoccurrence of this unfortunate incident.
“In this regard, investigations are ongoing in both Nigeria and Saudi Arabia. The affected passengers are, therefore, implored to keep calm while the matter is being resolved.”