As the Nigerian government continues to evacuate its nationals stranded in various countries as a result of the Covid-19 lockdown, I look beyond the regular countries like Dubai, United Kingdom and United States of America where hundreds of Nigerians are currently being held up in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Airlines are currently laying off staff including pilots and grounding their aircraft, an indication that international and long haul air travels may not resume as soon as expected.
India is one of those countries that closed their airspace after the Corona virus pandemic took so many nations unawares. There are many Nigerians living in India but my focus was on Nigerian legend and former Super Falcons goalkeeper Precious Dede who was one of those caught outside the country as the pandemic broke out.
Dede is currently the goalkeeper’s trainer of the India U-17 team, a job she got shortly after leaving Nigeria’s Falconets as Goalkeepers’ Trainer. The national team is based in Goa, one of the popular cities in Incredible India as the CNN promotion commercial describes the country of love and flowers.
In a long no-holds-barred chat, ( yes, I was on my phone chatting with Precious Dede from 1pm to 1.10am) the 1’71 ft tall former international said everything happened so fast in India but it turned out to be a blessing in disguise.
“Coach Thomas Dennerby and I, were to leave on March 14, 2020 for the break period. They had already bought our tickets but because of the pandemic, they now asked us to hold on a while. We were now holding on until everywhere was locked down. We couldn’t leave again.