SEVERAL Nigerians living in Ukraine have rejected the federal government’s offer to return to the country insisting that it was more dangerous to return home than to live in their war-torn adopted country.
As of this morning, nearly 1,000 Nigerians who fled Ukraine to either Poland, Romania, Slovakia or Hungary have been successfully evacuated back to Nigeria. Zubairu Dada, Nigeria’s minister of state for foreign affairs, revealed that Air Peace and Max Air airlines have been selected to provide the aircraft to facilitate the evacuation of Nigerians and over the last 48 hours, they have both made trips to Abuja.
Most of those who have been flown home are medical students studying in the Ukraine and upon their arrival in Abuja, they have been paid $100 to allow them return to their families. However, some of these students are refusing to leave Ukraine, saying they would rather take their chances amidst the ongoing conflict with Russia.
Lukman Ibrahim, a student, who fled Ukraine into Poland, said: “I will seek a students’ permit and continue my life from here because home is not safe, everybody knows this. You now expect me to come home and face the same thing when I just survived a war? I will never do that.”
Emeka Nnamdi, who is still in Sumy, a war-ravaged part of Ukraine, which remained inaccessible because of the heavy fighting there, said: “I am currently doing my Masters here. I finished my six years of medical school here and I am doing a speciality course, which will take me three years.
“However, if I’m doing a speciality course in Nigeria, it will take me more than five years, if not seven years, so why should I come home? As the war has broken out, we are supposed to run to our country for safety but I’ll rather stay here. We are all here risking our lives but going back to our country is riskier.”
Over recent years, Nigeria has been plagued with chronic insecurity with terrorist sects like Boko Haram and Islamic State of West Africa Province running riot. Other hoodlums including kidnappers, armed bandits, Fulani cattle herdsmen and armed robbers are currently all having a field day in Nigeria.