The house of representatives has resolved to ensure the immediate evacuation of Nigerians, including students, from Ukraine.
At the plenary session on Thursday, the lower legislative chamber drafted Ado Doguwa, majority leader of the house, and Yusuf Buba, chairman of the house committee on foreign affairs, to leave for Ukraine on Friday to secure the evacuation.
The Cable reports that the resolution was passed following the adoption of a motion sponsored by Munir Agundi, a lawmaker from Kano state.
The Ukraine-Russia crisis has escalated in the past few hours following the invasion of Ukraine by Russian military forces.
While moving the motion on the matter, the legislator said the worsening conflict is “deteriorating by the hour”.
He said there are a number of Nigerians in Ukraine who may be impacted by the conflict, hence the need for immediate evacuation.
“We have a significant number of undergraduate and graduate students currently studying in Ukraine of which a portion is under government scholarships,” he said.
“This is in addition to a number of Nigerian diplomats and their families in the Kyiv 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.”
Speaking on the motion, Femi Gbajabiamila, speaker of the house, said the situation requires urgent action.
“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,” he said.
“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 the chairman of foreign affairs should liaise with the ministry of foreign affairs, NIA and embassy in Ukraine and if nothing positive comes out of it, then we should liaise with the 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.”
The motion was unanimously adopted when it was put to a voice vote by Gbajabiamila.