Saudi Arabia, Air Peace Incident – What Has Happened So Far

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There have been numerous reports about how Saudi Arabia cancelled the visas of 177 Nigerians mid-flight as they were travelling on Sunday.

The incident unfolded after the Air Peace flight, carrying 264 passengers, landed in Jeddah.

Reportedly, only 87 people were granted entry, while others were instructed to turn back to their point of origin.

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The sparked widespread confusion as nobody knew the cause of the mass deportation of individuals who had valid visas and met all the requirements for entry.

Affected passengers told local media that they were shocked to learn about the visa cancellations upon landing.

However, on Wednesday, the Saudi Arabia embassy in Nigeria revealed that the deported individuals did not meet entry conditions.

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In a statement, they claimed that the passengers “submitted incorrect information to obtain a type of visa that did not apply to them, which they found out upon their arrival.

Air Peace’s side of the Story.

Meanwhile, the airline carrier, Air Peace, denied what stated.

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In a statement released on the same Wednesday, they said, “the visas were verified using the visa confirmation platform provided by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Saudi Arabia, confirming that the visa of each passenger was valid before they could check in for the flight.

They added that even the immigration officers in Saudi Arabia were surprised at the cancellation of valid visas.

However, the Nigerian Ministry of Foreign Affairs revealed on Tuesday that, although they haven’t received the full story on the cause of the cancellation, they know that 18 of the passengers received a ban.

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The statement mentioned, “the Saudi authorities have not given a reason for the cancellation of visas except for 18 passengers who have been banned from Saudi Arabia for various offences they committed before.”

They added that, even though the country has the right to decide who they allow into their country, Nigeria and Saudi Arabia are traditional and strategic partners who do not want such incidents to occur, and they are actively investigating the matter.

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This comes as the Ministry calls for the calm of the passengers who were deported by the Saudi government.

The call for calm is crucial because many of the deported Nigerians went on the trip to participate in the pilgrimage to the Islamic holy city of Mecca.

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This is as Nigeria’s President was in Saudi Arabia on Sunday to perform his Umrah rituals at the Grand Mosque.

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