Nigerians in Diaspora Organisation, Europe chapter (NIDO-E), has raised the alarm that Nigerians trapped in Ukraine might be mistaken as foreign mercenaries for war.
The Chairman, NIDO Europe Chapter, Dr Bashir Obasekola, made the disclosure on Saturday during a forum organised by the Russia Chapter with the theme, “Russia-Ukraine Situation: Impact on Nigerians in Russia/Europe and Bilateral Relations.”
The forum held in Moscow, Russia was monitored on Zoom by our correspondent.
Obasekola, who noted that some Nigerians were still trapped in Ukraine, stressed that it is now risky to cross the border due to unverified information of recruitment of foreign mercenaries for the war.
He said the forum was surprised that some Nigerians were going to the Ukraine Embassy in Nigeria, volunteering to join the country in its fight against Russia.
He described the step as a wrong signal that might expose Nigerians in Diaspora to the danger of being suspected as mercenaries.
He appealed to Nigerians to be circumspect with the action in order not to put those outside the country in danger.
He commended the federal government for evacuating about 2,000 Nigerians, noting that measures were being put in place to evacuate more from Ukraine.
The Chairman, NIDO Russia, Mr Sampson Uwem-Edimo, who said that in spite of the crisis, there are still many opportunities to deepen Russia-Nigeria bilateral cooperation, added that some Russian banks are seeking opportunities to partner with Nigerian banks to enhance the financial industry.
Nigerian Ambassador to Russia, Prof. Abdullahi Yibaikwal, said the Russian Government had pledged to provide the necessary assistance to ensure the safety and well-being of Nigerian citizens in Russia.
Yibaikwal said the Russian Ministry of Education had offered admissions to Nigerians who fled Ukraine and were willing to continue their education in Russia.
He said the ongoing crisis between Russia and Ukraine had worsened humanitarian issues, thus calling for speedy resolution through diplomatic dialogue.