Nigerian football fans who were stranded in Russia after the 2018 FIFA World Cup have arrived the country on Friday night.
154 out of the 250 including a nursing mother in her mid-thirties were airlifted by Nigeria government through Ethiopian Airline flight number ET-ALP that arrived Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja at about 9.12 pm on July 20.
President Muhammadu Buhari on July 16 directed the Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Aviation to evacuate the Nigerians to Abuja immediately.
The fans had on July 12 besieged the Embassy of Nigeria in Moscow.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, who was at the airport to monitor their arrival, commended President Muhammadu Buhari’s effort to ensure their safe return.
“The aircraft departed Domodedovo Airport in Moscow with the stranded Nigerians in the afternoon and arrived in Abuja this evening," Onyeama said.
The Guardian had earlier reported that some of the stranded fans were tricked by scammers and fraudulent “agents” who booked return flights for them cancelled the bookings to get a refund.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokesperson, Dr Tope Elias in a statement on Thursday also said they were stranded after the events due to lack of funds for their upkeep as well as allegation that some airline travel agents cancelled return tickets of their customers without their knowledge.