The government of Nigeria has expressed concern over Poland‘s refusal to allow its citizens fleeing Ukraine into the country.
Nigeria’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, raised the alarm during a meeting with envoys of European Union countries over the Russia-Ukraine crisis.
Onyeama said the government is receiving emergency calls from Nigerians who are going by road, evacuating Ukraine and a lot of them heading to Poland.
He further said the government understood that Polish authorities are not letting Nigerians specifically through escaping the conflict in Ukraine.
“And we have had a number of calls, desperate calls and that there are cases of women and pregnant women and so forth,”
Onyeama also said the government was informed that nationals of other African countries were being allowed into Poland.
Onyeama disclosed that he raised the issue with the Polish Ambassador to Nigeria, Joanna Tarnawska, who assured him to immediately check with the capital and have the situation addressed.
He said, since Nigeria is preparing to host the President and First Lady of Poland, it seemed to the government as an aberration that a situation like that where people are fleeing a global crisis like what is taking place should be prevented from getting out to safety.
“So, we hope that also the European Union and others, and if that is indeed the case, will prevail on, not just necessarily Poland, but also any other border country to please share some sympathy and humanness to refugees fleeing this crisis, be they Nigerians or any other nationality,” Onyeama also said.
Tarnawska, in her remarks, however said Poland is taking every necessary step to provide succour to those fleeing from Ukrain.
Earlier, the Head of the European Union Delegation to Nigeria and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Samuela Isopi, who led the delegation, said the meeting justified the importance that the EU attached to the issue of the Russia-Ukraine crisis.
Isopi told Onyeama that the European Union is ready to assist Ukraine with help, including financial and humanitarian assistance.
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