House of Representatives has urged the federal government to immediately commence the evacuation of Nigerian citizens living in Ukraine.
This is coming on the heels of the invasion of the country with military onslaught by Russian government.
To this end, the House directed its majority leader, Hon. Ado Doguwa and Chairman Committee on Foreign Affairs, Hon. Yakub Buba to liaise with the Foreign Affairs Ministry, National Intelligence Agency and Ukrainian embassy to achieve the purpose.
Priority is to given to Nigerian students in Ukraine.
The House resolution followed a motion of urgent national importance moved at the plenary on Thursday by Hon. Ahmed Munir.
In his motion, Munir said the conflict between Russia and Ukraine was deteriorating.
He said “There is a worsening conflict between Russia and of which the situation is deteriorating by the hour
“We have a significant number of undergraduate and graduate students currently studying in Ukraine of which a portion are under government scholarships. This is in addition to a number of Nigerian diplomats and their families in the Kiev embassy and Nigerian expatriates across Ukraine.
“If a strategic plan is not put in place to secure and provide safe passage for our citizens, they may be trapped or worse, harmed”.
The lawmaker then prayed the Committees on Foreign Affairs and diaspora in conjunction with the Federal Ministry of foreign Affairs to ascertain the exact figures of Nigerians affected by this conflict and put in place a comprehensive monitoring, evaluation and evaluation mechanism.
In his remarks, the Speaker, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila suggested an interface with the ministry, NIA and embassy for immediate evacuation of Nigerians in Ukraine.
Gbajabiamila also suggested that should the meeting fail to take urgent decision, the House should immediately contact the Chairman of Air Peace, Allen Onyema, regardless of the cost and head to Ukraine tomorrow (Friday) and evacuate the students (Monday).
“This is a very important motion that we discussed. Time is of the essence. A state of emergency has been declared, I listened to the news yesterday , even America said it’s not going to be bloodless. We should be more proactive and I think it’s better late than never. It’s important that at this point to forget all the bureaucratic bottlenecks, and look out for our citizens, especially students.
“Action needs to be taken now and my thought is that leader of the House Hon. Ado Doguwa and Chairman Foreign Affairs, Hon. Buba Yakub should liaise with the ministry foreign affairs, NIA and embassy in Ukraine and if nothing positive comes out of it, then we should liaise with chairman air peace. Whatever it’s going to cost the House, you need to leave this country latest tomorrow and come back on Monday with many of our students”, he said.
Adopting the motion, the speaker mandated the Committees on Foreign Affairs and Legislative Compliance to ensure compliance.