NIGERIA’S embassy in the Ukraine has told its citizens that should any of them wish to relocate from the country in the face of what now seems like a Black Sea War with Russia they are free to do so.
Yesterday, what had been sabre rattling between the two Eastern European giants developed into an all out war, with Russia launching air strikes against Ukraine’s capital Kiev. Both nations have been at loggerheads over Ukraine’s plans to join the Western military alliance the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (Nato), which Russia opposes.
Over the last month, Russia has had its troops massed on its western border with Ukraine and last week, the Ukrainian regions of Donetsk and Luhansk, which are populated by Russians, declared themselves independent. With the matter escalating into a Russian attack yesterday, the Ukrainian government declared a state of emergency and martial law in the country.
Responding to this development, the Nigerian embassy in Kiev issued a statement which read: “The attention of the embassy has been drawn to a declaration of state of emergency, and martial law on the entire territory of Ukraine, except the Donetsk and Luhansk regions by the government of Ukraine, effective from mid-night of February 23, 2022 for a period of 30 days as well as the latest development on the Ukraine-Russia crisis. With this, regional commissions are to decide on the necessary security measures to adopt in strengthening the protection of public order and facilities for the safety of the citizenry and running of the economy in their domains.
“It can be restriction of movement, an additional inspection and verification of certain documents of individuals, among others. These are preventive measures aimed at ensuring that the country remains calm and the economy continues to function uninterrupted, while it lasted.
“In view of this development, 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 embassy wishes to add that should any of Nigerian nationals considers the situation as emotionally disturbing, such nationals may wish to temporary relocate to anywhere consider safe by private arrangements.
“They should, however, ensure that they do all the needful to validate all their resident documents for ease of return to the country when desired. In addition, in case of students seeking such temporary relocation, they are enjoined to seek proper clearance and guarantee from their respective institutions, authorities/agents on the way forward in respect to their studies during this period and/or thereafter.
“For those who still consider it appropriate to remain in the country, be assured that the embassy remains open for its consular duties and responsibilities at all times. It will always avail you of updates when necessary.”