By Stephanie Busari
While other governments are making plans to evacuate their citizens from Ukraine, Nigerian students tell CNN they have been essentially told: “You’re on your own.”
Anjola-Oluwa Ero-Phillips said he and around 70 other Nigerian students are stranded with no way to legally leave Lviv in the west of the country, close to the border with Poland.
Abike Dabiri of the Nigerian Diaspora Commission told CNN that the country’s foreign ministry will announce evacuation plans, but gave no timeline.
Dabiri also sent updated travel advice from the Nigerian foreign ministry asking Nigerian students in Ukraine to “remain calm but be very vigilant and be responsible for their personal security and safety.”
Lviv is around 300 miles from Ukraine capital Kyiv where explosions were heard in the early hours of Thursday after Russian forces entered the country.
“There have not been explosions here but earlier in the day we heard the siren tests. Flights are cancelled and it’s hard to get any taxis or Uber,” medical student Ero-Phillips said of the situation in Lviv.
“Everybody is at the ATM trying to withdraw cash but banks are not opening. Money is running out at the ATM and you can’t do app transactions anymore,” he added.
People line up to withdraw money at cash machines in the western Ukrainian city of Lviv on February 24. (Yuriy Dyachyshyn/AFP/Getty Images)
“Based on what I have heard from the Indian citizens, their government is trying to get free transit for them to the Polish border,” Ero-Phillips said.
In an advisory Thursday, the Indian Embassy in Kyiv said arrangements were being put in place to evacuate Indian nationals and students.
“No one has any idea what to do. We have been reaching out to the Nigerian embassy since last month,” said Ero-Phillips, who is president of the Lviv arm of the Association of Nigerian students in Ukraine.
Credit | CNN