Russian Invasion: Some Nigerians, Others With Expired Documents Kept In Camps In Ukraine, Not Allowed To Leave

Nigerians in Ukraine

The Nigerian official said, “Ukraine; there are lots of people that don’t have full documents, it expired and these people did not want to go back to their countries.

Some foreign nationals in Ukraine, including an unspecified number of Nigerians, are being kept in camps in Ukraine because of their expired documents and are not allowed to flee the war-ravaged country, SaharaReporters has learnt.

This was disclosed by one of the Nigerian officials in neighbouring Poland, who advised embassies to find out from the Ukrainian government where the persons were being held and how they could be helped to leave the country, currently in a war situation.

The official in a Twitter Space conversation monitored by SaharaReporters on Sunday said some of the foreigners in the camps were being asked by Ukrainian officials to join the war with a promise that they would be given free Ukrainian passports – this claim could not yet be substantiated.
The Nigerian official said, “Ukraine; there are lots of people that don’t have full documents, it expired and these people did not want to go back to their countries.

“These people (Ukrainians), when they see you, they ask for your documents and if you cannot provide them, they will take you into their camps. Apparently, my contact with someone in one of the camps said they were told they would be given the Ukrainian passport if they come out to fight. We know that is a lie.
“My question is; what are the embassies doing? They should be aware that some people including Nigerians are being held in camps over documents issue, even in this situation.”
Apart from this group, SaharaReporters earlier reported that hundreds of Nigerians and other nationals were currently freezing at locations around the Ukraine border after security officials refused to allow them entry into the neighbouring countries.
The Nigerian government had on Saturday listed four borders in Ukraine where its citizens seeking to leave the country could be evacuated.
SaharaReporters was however told on Sunday that people could not move out and Nigerians were already freezing at the borders.

“They are not allowing us to leave the Ukrainian border. They are only evacuating their people to Slovak. We are stuck in Uzhgorod just before we enter Slovak. Can’t type much; we will walk into Slovak; the Ukrainian soldiers should just let us leave,” a Nigerian lamented.
“They are not doing any paperwork here. They are taking most of their people. Out of like 200 people, we are the only blacks,” another victim said.
Abike Dabiri-Erewa, chief executive officer (CEO) of the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM) had stated on Saturday that the borders through which Nigerians could exit the troubled country are Hrebenne-Rawa Ruska, Korczowa-Krakowiec, Medyka-Szeginie and Budomierz-Hurszew.
“For Nigerians in Ukraine trying to cross over to Poland, there are eight borders between Poland and Ukraine, four borders are recommended,” she had said.
“Nigeria volunteer groups, as well as staff of the Nigerian embassy, will be at these borders to help you out. We are going to provide contact details of these Nigerians that will be there to help you out and the convergence point.” 
The Embassy of Nigeria in Warsaw, Poland, in a public notice, had said officials and volunteers would be at the Polish-Ukrainian borders to pick up Nigerians.
However, Nigerians in Ukraine have lamented that they are being turned back by soldiers and not allowed to leave.
They said they are only allowing Ukrainians to leave.
When SaharaReporters contacted the spokesperson for NIDCOM, Abdur-Rahman Balogun, on Sunday for comments over the current plight of Nigerian nationals in Ukraine, he sent a message saying the foreign ministry was working with relevant authorities to get help for stranded Nigerians.
The message reads, “IMPORTANT INFORMATION: The Nigerian Embassy in Romania wishes to inform Nigerians arriving from Ukraine that arrangement has been put in place to receive them at the Romanian entry points.
“The Embassy hotlines are: Consular Officer +40747309174, Head of Chancery +40786091964.
“For those experiencing difficulties at the borders, Our Minister, His Excellency @GeoffreyOnyeama is currently engaging high authorities and the Organization for Migration to assist.”

Source: Sahara Reporters.