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FG opposes recruitment of Nigerian volunteers as mercenaries in Ukraine

THE Federal Government has kicked against the recruitment of Nigerian volunteers as mercenaries by Ukraine in the ongoing war with Russia.

Over 150 Nigerians had volunteered to join the Ukrainian army after Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky called for help after Russia invaded the country.

In a statement released today, spokesperson for the Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs Francisca Omayuli said the Federal Government would not tolerate the recruitment of Nigerians in the war.

The statement explained that the Federal Government had already reached out to the Embassy of Ukraine in Nigeria over reports that Nigerians were registering to join the Ukrainian army.

“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 several 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 statement said.

The ICIR reported that some Nigerians who indicated interest in fighting on the side of Ukraine in the ongoing war had explained that they were motivated by the need to escape the existential problems of living in Nigeria.

One of the volunteers who spoke to The ICIR was Adikwu Monday, an ex-soldier with the Nigerian Army number 96NA/41/2808.

Adikwu, a father of six children, said he was willing to fight in Ukraine because he needed money to take care of his family.

However, the volunteer fighters expressed disappointment after the embassy reportedly required them to show evidence of paying $1,000 for flight tickets.

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Naija Times