FG says Nigerian volunteers won’t be allowed to fight in Ukraine

The FG says it would engage the Embassy of Ukraine in Nigeria and other relevant authorities to stop Nigerians from joining the fight.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama. [Twitter/@GeoffreyOnyeama]

The Federal Government has rejected the move by some Nigerians who volunteered to fight on the side of Ukraine in the ongoing war with Russia.

Last week, over 100 Nigerians stormed the Ukrainian Embassy in Abuja seeking to be recruited to fight in the war.

The volunteers invaded the embassy following a call for support from people around the world by the President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky.

Reacting to this in a statement on Monday, March 7, 2022, Spokesperson for the Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Francisca Omayuli, said the Federal Government won’t allow the recruitment.

She added that the FG would engage the Embassy of Ukraine in Nigeria and other relevant authorities to prevent the exercise.

The statement reads: “The attention of the Federal Government of Nigeria has been drawn to an alleged ongoing registration of Nigerian volunteers into the fighting force of Ukraine at the Ukrainian Embassy in Abuja.

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs contacted the Embassy to verify the speculation. The Ukrainian Embassy refuted the allegation but confirmed that a number of Nigerians had approached the Embassy indicating their willingness to fight on the side of Ukraine in its ongoing conflict with Russia.

“Furthermore, the Embassy clarified that the Ukrainian government is not admitting foreign volunteer fighters and as such dissociated itself from the claim that it is requesting $1,000 from each Nigerian volunteer for air ticket and visa.

“As a responsible member of the international community and consistent with our obligations under international law, Nigeria discourages the use of mercenaries anywhere in the world and will not tolerate the recruitment, in Nigeria, of Nigerians as mercenaries to fight in Ukraine or anywhere else in the world.

The Federal Government will continue to engage with the Embassy of Ukraine in Nigeria and other relevant authorities to prevent this possibility.”

Russia forces attacked Ukraine in the early hours of Thursday, February 24, 2022. The invasion has entered its second week and over a million people are reported to have fled Ukraine for neighbouring countries.

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