The Federal Government of Nigeria is set to evacuate its citizens that are trapped in between the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
In an initial memoir by the Nigerian embassy in Ukraine, Nigerians were advised to seek their safety as no help was coming for them.
In a turn of events, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, has disclosed that the Federal Government will from Wednesday begin the evacuation of about 2,000 Nigerians who have fled to neighbouring Ukraine countries.
Federal Government to Evacuate Nigerians
The Minister during an interview on a Channels Television programme ‘Politics Today’, has revealed President Muhammadu Buhari had approved funds for the airlines to evacuate Nigerians.
He further revealed that “Air Peace and Max Air” would be responsible for evacuating the first 2000 Nigerians from Wednesday.
Onyeoma noted that there are about 8,000 Nigerians in Ukraine, 5,000 of whom are students, adding that the airlines would evacuate those that are willing to leave.
While briefing the House of Representatives earlier on the evacuation efforts, he stated, “We made Romania the hub and over a thousand Nigerians have crossed there.
“Poland has about 250, Budapest in Hungary has a similar number, Slovakia is rising rapidly. It is also around 200. There are some Nigerians in a place called Sumy close to the Russian border.
“I have been in touch with the ambassador. There are about 150 of them who are looking to cross into Russia and we have asked the ambassador in Russia to try and get a permit for them to transit to Russia hopefully by Wednesday we will start deploying planes to start bringing the Nigerians,” Onyeoma added.
When asked why it took over a week for an evacuation to be decided, the minister said it is not the sole responsibility of the Government to evacuate stranded citizens who willingly travelled there, as they should also be able to afford their return.
Onyeoma revealed that the Nigerian diplomats in Ukraine were the ones that assured the Nigerian government that Russia would not invade.
He said no one could have known that Vladimir Putin would order his military to invade Ukraine barely days after he said he had withdrawn them from the border.
Russia and Ukraine are set to meet for peace talks as countries are standing against Russia over its attack on Ukraine.