14 September 2017

Nigerians in Ukraine Urge Osinbajo, Onyeama to Stop Plan to Shut Mission

Abuja — Nigerians in Ukraine have urged Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and the Foreign Affairs Minister, Geoffrey Onyeama, to stop the plan to shut the country's mission in Kiev, Ukraine.

In a letter by their President, Martins Dele Lawani, they said the move was not in their best interest.

They added that apart from a large number of students studying in the country, over 8,000 were working and doing businesses in Ukraine.

According to the letter, the move would jeopardise the on-going plans by the government of Ukraine to establish inter-governmental joint commission for trade and economic cooperation between the two countries.

The letter reads: "Our attention has been drawn to a decision by the Federal Government of Nigeria to close down the Nigerian Embassy in Kiev, Ukraine.

"We, the entire Nigerian community in Ukraine, including the Nigerian students studying in Ukraine, sincerely believe that the reasons given for this decision is not in the best interest of our country, particularly with respect to the large number of over 10,000 Nigerian students that are currently studying and doing brilliantly well in the country.

"Also, we have over 8,000 Nigerians currently working and doing legitimate business in Ukraine, as well as the growing economic and military collaboration between the two countries."

The letter also stated that over the years, Ukrainian public educational institutions had provided cheap, affordable and quality education for Nigerians, especially those studying medicine, aviation, science and engineering.

The group equally recalled the assistance offered by the country at the height of Boko Haram activities and urged the Nigerian government to sustain its relationship with Ukraine, rather than destroying it.

"During the height of Boko Haram terrorism and the blockage of sale of arms to Nigeria by the U.S.A. and other European countries, it was only Ukraine that took the risk of selling military armament to Nigeria which helped in curbing terrorists expansion," they said.

They feared that the Ukrainian government could also reciprocate the closure of Nigeria Embassy in Kiev by closing the Ukrainian Embassy in Nigeria.

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