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Public Safety: Nigerian Government urges Russia to ‘pull back’ on Ukraine attacks

Mr. Geoffrey Onyeama, Honourable Minister for Foreign Affairs

*Geoffrey Onyeama, Minister for Foreign Affairs, says the Federal Government supports every effort being made to stop the aggression and ensure the Russian troops return to their country

Alexander Davis | ConsumerConnect

In seeking peace and use of diplomacy in resolving the differences between Russia and Ukraine, the Federal Government of Nigeria has urged the Russian troops to ‘pull back’ from their  ‘aggressive’ attacks on Kyiv, and other cities in Ukraine.

ConsumerConnect reports Mr. Geoffrey Onyeama, Honourable Minister for Foreign Affairs, stated this at a press briefing Friday, February 25, 2022, in Abuja, FCT.

Recall Onyeama earlier, had met with the envoys from various countries, including the United Kingdom (UK) and the United States (US).

Russian President Vladimir Putin

The Minister also met with Kirdoda Valerii, the Ukrainian Ambassador to Nigeria; and Alexei Shebarshin, his Russian counterpart.

“The Nigerian government during the meeting called for peace and the use of diplomacy in resolving differences between Russia and Ukraine.

“We made it clear that Nigeria does not condone this aggression and urged the Russians to pull back and stop the intervention,” Onyeama stated.

The Minister also noted: “We have diplomatic relations with Ukraine. It’s a member of the United Nations, as well as Russia of course.

“We urge that peace be prioritised by the two sides and we are very sad that the diplomatic process that was ongoing before this attack was cut short.”

Onyeama further said: “We support every effort being made to stop the aggression and that the Russian troops return to Russia.

“We recognise the sovereignty of Ukraine and the territorial integrity of Ukraine,” Onyeama said.

It is recalled Ms. Francisca Omayuli, Spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in Abuja, in a statement Thursday had said that “the Federal Government of Nigeria has received with surprise, reports of the invasion of Ukraine by Russia.

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has been reassured by the Nigerian Embassy in Ukraine of the safety of Nigerians in that country and measures being undertaken to keep them safe and facilitate the evacuation of those who wish to leave.”

The statement said: “The Federal Government wishes to assure the families with loved ones in Ukraine that as soon as the airports in the country are opened, it would assist in facilitating the evacuation of Nigerians who are willing to leave.

“In the meantime, the Nigerian Mission has confirmed that military action by the Russians has been confined to military installations.”

Similarly, the Minister for Foreign Affairs also told the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), that willing and ready students would be evacuated as soon as the airports open in Ukraine.

“The advice we were getting was that we should not panic, the embassy was in touch with the students telling them to take reasonable precautions,” said he.

Onyeama, however, noted that the Nigerian Government, initially, was “undecided”, given Russia’s previous position not to invade Ukraine and intelligence reports from the US and the UK that an invasion was imminent.

The Minister said: “It was very difficult to take a definitive position with regard to advising everybody to leave.”

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