Nigerian students in Ukraine say they are confused and feel abandoned by their country amidst the escalating war between Russia and Ukraine. There are over 4,000 Nigerian students studying in Ukraine.
Russian forces attacked major Ukrainian cities on Thursday morning in what President Vladimir Putin described as a “special military operation.”
Russia says it is targeting military installations in Ukraine but there are fears many civilians have been killed in airstrikes.
Amidst the confusion in Ukraine, Nigerians studying in the Eastern Ukrainian country say they feel let down.
A Nigerian student at Lviv National Medical University, Ukraine, told a reporter that although the Nigerian embassy was ‘responsive’, students had no information on what to do should a full-blown war ensue.
“We do not know what is happening, we see other nations organising flights for their people. I think it will be good to know if we have a place of convergence, we have no idea and people are asking if they should start returning home.
“The embassy is responsive anytime we reach out to them but it is the same response every time, which leaves me wondering if there are no plans for the worst-case scenario,” Mr Philips, the president of the Nigerian students union in Lviv, said.
He noted that the situation on the ground is one of great uncertainty. “No one knows what is our fate as Nigerian students here. We just get things online and we try to feel the pulse of the school administration and the locals. Lviv is pretty safe, everybody is going about their business…”
“Some days ago, the school sent out information that students could go back to their houses with the exception of students who had professional examinations. We are still trying to get further clarification from the school on why this group is exempted.
“The issue is we do not have any direction from the Nigerian embassy, I reached out to them and was told to keep checking the website for information. They said they will update us with more information if they receive any. The last update on their website was on January 26, asking us to call the embassy in case of emergency,” he said.
The Nigerian embassy in Ukraine Thursday released a statement saying Nigerians in Ukraine should essentially defend themselves.
“The embassy urges Nigerian nationals resident in Ukraine to remain calm but be very vigilant and be responsible for their personal security and safety,” the Nigerian Embassy in Kyiv, Ukraine said in a statement shared on Twitter by the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM).
Source: Premium Times