The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, made this known in a series of tweets on his official account on Sunday, February 27, 2022.
The Minister also said he conveyed his sympathy for Ukraine to the country’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dmytro Kuleba, during an over-the-phone conversation.
Onyeama tweeted “Spoke on the phone with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, Dmytro Kuleba. Expressed sympathy for the needless loss of life and destruction and reiterated Nigeria’s recognition of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.
“I also expressed concern at the news of Ukrainian border guards hindering the exit of Nigerian citizens. He asserted that Ukrainian border guards have been instructed to allow all foreigners to leave. He promised to investigate and revert quickly.
“The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine reverted to state: “It’s official: no restrictions for foreign nationals to leave the country exit. Problem is the result of chaos on the border and checkpoints leading to them”.
Onyeama added that, beside Russia and Ukraine, the government was also collaborating with Nigeria’s foreign missions in Romania, Poland, and Hungary to evacuate its citizens and make sure those who chose to stay back in Ukraine are safe.
“I am personally coordinating with our missions in Ukraine, Poland, Russia, Romania, and Hungary to ensure we get our citizens out of Ukraine and bring back to Nigeria those ready to return, while supporting those who are remaining in Ukraine.”
It’s estimated that there are roughly 5,600 Nigerians currently trapped in Ukraine due to the Russian attack.
The Chairman/CEO, Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM), Abike Dabiri-Erewa, said in a viral video on Saturday February 26, 2022, that out of the eight borders between Ukraine and Poland, four have been marked safe for Nigerians to use.
She encouraged Nigerians to travel in group so that they could keep track of one another as they journey toward the boarders.
This came after the government had ruled out the possibilities of an immediate evacuation saying it’s too risky to evacuate stranded Nigerians in Ukraine as the Russian troops continue its match towards the country’s capital city of Kyiv.
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