Some stranded Nigerians who fled Ukraine to Poland have appreciated the Federal Government for its efforts in ensuring their safe and successful evacuation to Nigeria.
The evacuees made this known in separate interviews with newsmen on Friday, before departing the Warsaw International Airport in Poland.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that as at 8. 15 a.m, the Air Peace Air craft conveying the 180 evacuees had boarded the Air Peace Aircraft to full capacity.
The evacuees who narrated their terrible ordeal while trying to flee Ukraine, appreciated the Federal Government and its mission in Poland for all the arrangements.
Ms Eniola Badejo, a student from Ukraine appreciated the government’s efforts, but appealed for more information and better coordination as the exercise continued.
“We thank the Federal Government of Nigeria because it has been really tiring, we went through a lot of stress, many of us travelled all the way and we have barely slept.
“We want them to give us more information because we were not given enough information. .
“I am just happy to be going back to my family, I feel happy and grateful that I am going back to my parents,” Badejo said.
Mr Joseph Chikwado, another student who left Ukraine, said what was most important to him was his successful crossing from Ukraine into Poland amidst all the challenges as he looked forward to returning to Nigeria.
“It was a very bad experience trying to get across the borders from Ukraine into Poland because of the weather.
“It was very bad and very cold, very long distance, no vehicle to convey us to the borders, we got there pretty late, we had to find a way to warm ourselves.
“We are happy we are safe now and getting back to our country, I feel relieved,” Chikwado said.
Ms Kella Wengwu, a student of Dnipro Medical Institute, Ukraine, said she was lucky to be on the flight, explaining that the cancelled flight of March 3, gave her the opportunity to make the trip.
Wengu explained that she would have missed the flight as she did not register with the Nigerian Embassy in Poland upon arrival.
“Leaving Ukraine was very tough. I had left my city over two weeks to the capital because there were warnings on the invasion from Russia on social media.
“Coming here, I do not know how I got here, I was going to miss this flight because I did not go to the Embassy to write my name, I got here and was told the plane was filled up, I waited to see if any opportunity arises.
“It is mixed feelings for me, I am not quite happy I am leaving school, Ukraine is my home now because since I arrived it has been great.
“But at the same time, I am safe, I a going home to my loved ones, thank you for the opportunity.”
Nigeria’s Ambassador to Poland, Christian Ugwu, appreciated President Muhammadu Buhari for his swift intervention and release of funds to get all stranded Nigerians in Ukraine back home.
Ugwu said the embassy in Poland was on top of the situation and had successfully coordinated the first batch who were being evacuated already.
The ambassador, however, urged all Nigerians who had made it to Poland to ensure they got ready to be evacuated home rather than remain in Poland.
“We have been trying our best to convince the Nigerian students that there is no need to remain here in Poland to constitute nuisance and that the Federal Government is trying their possible best to make them comfortable.
“And that is why they have made provisions for them to be comfortable in hotels and provided aircraft to convey them back home.
“For those who refused to go, they will be remaining at their own risk.
“We advise parent to try as much as possible to counsel their wards and children that they should come back, when the crisis in Ukraine subsides they can return.
“Remaining in Poland will be a difficult thing for them.
“It is kudos to Nigeria that the President has granted an urgent flight evacuation to these students, he has sent funds and things are moving accordingly.
“And the Nigerian students from Ukraine are happy that they are being treated well and being taken care of,” Ugwu said.
Amb. Bolaji Akinremi, leader of the evacuation exercise from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, explained that the March 3 flight was cancelled due to delay in getting all the intending evacuees together from their respective hotels.
Akinremi explained that as at when they were ready, the International law did not allow for the crew members to continue with the journey as they had overshot their duty time.
DATE PUBLISHED: March 4, 2022