In a perplexing turn of events, the Federal Government has initiated an investigation into the abrupt cancellation of visas for 264 Nigerian passengers who arrived in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, on a flight originating from Lagos and Kano. The flight, which departed from the Murtala Muhammed International Airport and transited through the Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport, landed at King Abdul-Aziz International Airport, only to face an unexpected challenge.
Despite adhering to the Advanced Passengers Information System during check-in in Nigeria, a procedure monitored by Saudi authorities, airline staff were taken aback when Saudi Arabian officials declared the cancellation of all passengers’ visas. The incident has raised concerns about potential violations of consular or aviation rules.
A statement from the media aide to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, AlKasim Abdulkadir, conveyed the government’s commitment to investigating the matter thoroughly. The Ministry aims to ascertain whether any consular or aviation protocols were breached during the process.
“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is investigating the matter to see if any consular or aviation rules have been flouted. The Ministry will ensure such actions that impact the welfare of Nigerian citizens are mitigated in the future in line with the 4Ds strategy of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu,” the statement read.
The government’s proactive response aligns with its dedication to safeguarding the welfare of Nigerian citizens, especially in international matters. The incident occurred shortly after Nigeria’s participation in the Saudi-Africa Summit, where discussions on various economic sectors and mutual commitments took place. The ongoing investigation seeks to shed light on the unusual circumstances surrounding the visa cancellations and prevent similar incidents affecting Nigerian citizens in the future.