Why we Can’t Help over 5000 Nigerians Stranded in Ukraine – FG
By Lawan Bukar Maigana
The Federal Government has said that Nigerians in Ukraine cannot be evacuated until the airports are opened.
The Russian leader, Vladimir Putin, had announced a full scale invasion of Ukraine on Thursday evening.
The invasion was launched with heavy rocket attacks on major cities of Ukraine, including the capital Kyiv, leading to many deaths and destruction.
The invasion has continued to create fear among many residents, forcing some of them to flee the country.
South Africa and India had earlier announced an arrangement for the evacuation of their nationals to neighboring Poland by constructing temporary offices at the Ukrainian borders.
Nigeria’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, said that there are no fewer than 5,600 Nigerians, most of whom are students, in Ukraine.
He said they had earlier written a letter to the Nigerian embassy, through its association, seeking immediate evacuation to Nigeria.
Onyeama expressed concern over the situation of Nigerians in Ukraine saying that: “ the advice we are getting is that we should not panic. The embassy was in touch with the students telling them to take precautions.”
He made the statement after a meeting with the Ambassadors of Ukraine to Nigeria, Kirdoda Valeri, and his Russian counterpart, Alexie Shabbarshin, in Abuja.
The Russian envoy told Onyeama that there might be a risk in evacuating Nigerians from Ukraine because of the declaration of full invasion on the country which led to the closure of many airports in the country.