Saudi Arabia yet to give reason for cancelling Nigerian passengers’ visas

*FG urges calm

By Nudoiba Ojen

The Federal Government has said that Saudi Arabian authorities are yet to give reasons for the cancellation of the visas of passengers aboard Air Peace upon arrival in Jeddah.

The Federal Government has appealed for calm over the incident, saying investigation was still ongoing.

Air Peace Flight No. P4-752 airlifted 264 passengers from the Murtala Mohammed International Airport in Lagos and the Aminu Kano International Airport and landed at the King Abdulaziz International Airport – Hajj Terminal Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, on Monday, November 13, 2023.

But on arrival at the Hajj terminal, the Saudi Immigration authorities informed the passengers that their visas had been cancelled following which 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 by the spokesperson, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Francisca Omayuli, on Tuesday stated that, “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 offences committed in the past.”

Omayuli said, “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 a recurrence of this unfortunate incident.

“In this regard, investigation is ongoing in both Nigeria and Saudi Arabia. The affected passengers are, therefore, implored to keep calm, while the matter is being resolved,” she said.

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