This was announced in a press statement by Nkem Anyata-Lafia, a media aide to Yusuf Buba, chairman of House Committee on Foreign Affairs.
The move has, however, been condemned by a diplomat who said it is a waste of taxpayers’ money.
The delegation is led by the House Leader, Alhassan Ado-Doguwa.
The lawmakers were ‘mandated’ by the House leadership to “proceed to the war-torn region to ensure that every Nigerian that desires to return home from the epicentre of the conflicts is given the support to do so.”
“We do not have a return date yet, for now, we are here until we are sure everyone who wishes to return to Nigeria is home and safe,” Mr Buba told PREMIUM TIMES in a telephone interview.
He added that the delegation has also been to the hotels where the Nigerians, mainly students, are residing; to ensure that they are well and healthy.
The House of Representatives, last Thursday, resolved to work with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Air Peace to commence the evacuation of Nigerians in Ukraine following the invasion of the country by Russia.
@HouseNGR Majority Leader, Rep. @aadoguwa-, and the Chairman, Committee on Foreign Affairs, Rep. Yusuf Buba, with some Nigerian students in Romania preparatory to the evacuation of the students to Nigeria. pic.twitter.com/kgfNgrXx7f
— House of Reps NGR (@HouseNGR) March 3, 2022
The responsibility of evacuating stranded Nigerians rests on the Ministry of foreign affairs its departments and agencies including the country’s foreign missions.
However, lawmakers believe that the foreign ministry was slow to react to the Ukraine crisis and that bureaucratic bottlenecks may slow down any evacuation.
Last Thursday, the House of Representatives mandated the Doguwa team to be involved in the evacuation of the stranded Nigerians.
The lawmakers’ resolution came shortly after PREMIUM TIMES’ reported that Nigerian students in Ukraine called for help after Russia invaded Ukraine.
Jide Osuntokun, former Nigerian ambassador to Germany, in reaction to the lawmaker’s trip, said it was irresponsible of the lawmakers to jet off to Romania as they had no reason to be there.
“It is absolutely irresponsible of them to have gone to any of the countries. What role will they be playing there? They are not welfare officers, they should have allowed the right people to go.”
He added that “they just went there to earn estacodes; absolute irresponsibility on their side. They don’t belong there. Which other country has their legislator there?”
According to Mr Osuntokun, this act is part of the general irresponsibility in the country.
Nigeria’s foreign affairs ministry had on Wednesday announced that it expects to receive the first batch of evacuees from Ukraine on Thursday.
Mr Buba told this reporter Thursday afternoon that Nigerian students were at the airport awaiting the arrival of the aircraft.
According to the foreign ministry’s statement, over 2,000 Nigerians fleeing the conflict in Ukraine, as of Tuesday night, had been received by Nigerian missions in countries around the area, including Slovakia, Romania, Poland and Hungary.
There are about 5,600 Nigerian students in Ukraine, the Nigerian foreign affairs ministry had confirmed.
Eight days into the war, at least one million people have fled Ukraine since Russia’s invasion, the United Nations said, warning that “at this rate” the exodus could become “the biggest refugee crisis this century”.
This number is more than two per cent of Ukraine’s 44 million population.
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