Abike Dabiri-Erewa Condemns Polish Government For Detaining Nigerians

The Chairman and CEO of Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, has condemned the Polish government for detaining Nigerians and other African students who had fled war-torn Ukraine for safety in neighbouring Poland.

Dabiri-Erewa said this in Abuja on Thursday at the commencement of a two-day Psychosocial Trauma Clinic for Ukraine returnees organised by the National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons, NiDCOM and Project Victory Call Initiative, aka PVC-Naija.

The former parliamentarian expressed displeasure over the development, saying it was wrong and traumatic.

”Some Africans and Nigerians decided not to return home, now Polish authority is going around and capturing Blacks and putting them in detention camps.

“So, those Nigerians who refused to return are at a risk; some are in detention centres in Poland and they are in a traumatic condition.

“However, in as much as Nigeria has given them the opportunity to come back home and they refused, it does not mean the Polish authority will grab them and put them in detention centres,” she said.

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She commended Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari, for making it possible for the stranded students to return home.

“Imagine we are not able to bring them back home – look at what is happening in Poland? The Federal Government is now calling on the Poland authority to release the Blacks in their custody.

”It is not right for them to detain the Blacks because they decided to take cover in their country (Poland),” Dabiri-Erewa kicked while accusing the Polish country of racism, citing the fact that the Europeans were not subjected to such maltreatment.

“They are not putting the Whites in those detention centres, so, send them back to their countries instead of capturing them in detention centres which is the height of racism in a war situation,” she said.

In her own separate reaction, the Federal Commissioner National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons, Imaan Suleiman, said the commission would provide offices across the country.

Suleiman noted that necessary tools and training would be in place for psychosocial support to those in need, adding that it was a worthy cause because mental health was key, just as different people react to trauma differently due to resistance levels.

Also speaking, the Student Union President of Nigerian Students in Ukraine, Fehintola Moses, appreciated the FG, especially the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, whom he said personally reached out to him during the course of the repatriation.

He equally commended the NiDCOM chair and the national refugee commission for their efforts in ensuring that Nigerian students were safely ferried back home.

Moses narrated his experience during the Ukraine war and appealed to the FG for more assistance in enabling them to continue with their studies when the situation doused.

He appealed to Nigerians to embrace peace and to say no to war.

PVCI convener, Dr Bolaji Akinyemi, said four psychologists were mobilised from Plateau and Sokoto states for the first phase of the programme, adding that “trauma has become a part of our lives and when we are faced with the triggers we need to nip it in the bud that was the reason for the programme”.

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