President Muhammadu Buhari has given orders to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Chief Geoffrey Onyeama, and Minister of State, Aviation, Sen. Hadi Sirika, to begin, with immediate effect, the process of repatriating Nigerians stranded in Russia.
Malam Garba Shehu, the President’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, confirmed this development in a statement in Abuja on Monday.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the affected Nigerians had travelled to Russia for the FIFA 2018 World Cup but got stranded after the competition. The football enthusiasts where left stranded in the country following the activities of some unscrupulous travel agents who cancelled their return tickets and abandoned them to their fate. Most of them, in their helpless and hapless conditions, resorted to sleeping around in the streets of Russia
The presidential aide observed that already the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Minister of Aviation had in compliance with the President’s directive taken the necessary actions to bring the Nigerians back.
According to Shehu, the Presidential directive is in line with the policy of the current administration to ensure the welfare of all Nigerians in every part of the world. It would be recalled that the Buhari administration had on several occasions ensured the repatriation of Nigerians from foreign countries like Libyan slave trade incidents and other conflict zones.
The governor of Lagos state, Akinwunmi Ambode had earlier on Saturday, come to the rescue of 50 Nigerians who were stranded in Russia.