In a recent development, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has shed light on the controversial revocation of visas for 177 Nigerian passengers who arrived in Jeddah aboard an Air Peace plane on Monday.
Saudi authorities assert that out of the total 264 passengers on the flight, the 177 individuals were denied entry due to their failure to meet entry conditions and requirements outlined by the Kingdom’s rules and regulations.
The crux of the matter lies in the submission of incorrect information by the affected passengers to obtain a visa category that did not align with their travel circumstances.
This discrepancy was discovered upon their arrival in Jeddah, prompting Saudi officials to take immediate action.
The Federal Government of Nigeria responded promptly, announcing an investigation into the cancellation of visas for the 177 Air Peace passengers.
The group had been airlifted to Jeddah from both Lagos and Kano on Sunday, only to face visa cancellations upon landing in Saudi Arabia.
Initially, Saudi Arabia canceled visas for all 264 passengers and insisted that the airline, Air Peace, return them to Nigeria. However, a subsequent decision allowed 87 passengers to enter the country, while the remaining 177 were directed to return on the Air Peace flight back to Nigeria.
The flight, which originated from the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA) in Lagos via Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport (MAKIA) in Kano, encountered no issues until its arrival in Jeddah, where Saudi authorities announced the cancellation of all passengers’ visas.
Responding to the growing concerns surrounding the incident, the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia in Abuja released a statement via its verified handle (formerly Twitter) on Wednesday.
The embassy clarified that the visa revocation was not targeted against Nigerians specifically, emphasizing that the rules apply universally to citizens of other countries as well.
The statement highlighted the paramount importance of adhering to established rules and regulations by all visitors to the Kingdom.
“The Royal Embassy would like to stress the importance of following the procedures and laws enacted by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for all visitors,” the statement read.
Furthermore, the embassy advised all passengers to thoroughly review their documents to ensure conformity with conditions before departing from their respective countries to the Kingdom.
The embassy’s statement concluded by clarifying that the visa revocation procedure was not exclusive to Nigerian citizens but applied to citizens of other countries as well, underscoring the Kingdom’s commitment to enforcing its entry conditions uniformly.
The incident serves as a reminder of the critical role accurate information plays in the visa application process and the consequences of non-compliance with established regulations.
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