Ebute-Metta Building Collapse: Death Toll Rises To 8

The death toll from the collapsed three-storey building at Ebute Meta, Lagos, as at Monday morning has risen to five, the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) officials say.

Reports have it that an old three-storey building collapsed at No. 24 Ibadan Street, Herbert Macaulay Way, Ebute Meta, on Sunday night at about 10.56 p.m.

The Zonal Coordinator Southwest, NEMA, Mr Ibrahim Farinloye, told Newsmen in Lagos that the deceased persons included three males and two females.

The number of rescued occupants remained at 23.

Rescue operations are ongoing at the site of the incident in search of four of the remaining occupants of the building.

Expatriate Hangs Self In Lagos Office, Police Begin Probe.

Expatriate Hangs Self In Lagos Office, Police Begin Probe

An Indian national, Devendra Singh, has allegedly committed suicide at his private office on Egbeyemi Street, in the Ilupeju area of Lagos State.

Until his death, Singh, 42, was said to be a field worker at the Agro Nigeria Limited, in the Ikeja area of the state.

Airviews News gathered that the victim’s driver had conveyed him to his office last Friday when the incident happened.

Upon entering the premises, our correspondent learnt that Singh got down from the vehicle and proceeded to the office to commence his work for the day.

Things, however, took another turn when Singh stayed in the office beyond the usual closing hour.

His driver was said to have called his phone number several times without any response.

A source, on Sunday, said the driver, who peeped through the window, was shocked at the sight of the lifeless remains of his boss dangling from a rope.

The source said, “The driver called his colleagues around 7.30pm saying he brought his boss to the office in the morning and that his boss was not out and that he had tried calling him and he did not pick his calls. His colleagues then informed their company’s chief security officer.

“A few minutes later, the driver peeped through the window of the office and saw that his boss had hanged himself on the iron hook used in holding a ceiling fan. Some of his colleagues, who rushed down to the place, also confirmed seeing the Indian man’s lifeless body dangling from the rope.

“So, they reported back to their CSO, who advised them to report to the police. It was the police that came to the private office to forcefully open the door and met his corpse in that same position.

“He locked himself inside the office and when the police managed to open the place, they saw the side table he climbed to hang himself and afterwards, he pushed it. Singh didn’t write any suicide note.”

Our correspondent gathered that after the police recovered Singh’s corpse on Friday, April 30, 2022, his remains were deposited in the mortuary at the Mainland Hospital, Yaba, Lagos, for an autopsy.

The state Police Public Relations Officer, Benjamin Hundeyin, said the state Commissioner of Police, Abiodun Alabi, had ordered an investigation to unravel the circumstances surrounding Singh’s death.

He added, “Investigation has begun to ascertain if it is truly suicide or murder/manslaughter packaged as suicide.”

MNJTF Rescues Female Hostages After Eliminating ISWAP Terrorists

In continuation with Operation Lake Sanity, MNJTF troops (Nigeria and Niger Republics troops) at Forward Operations Base Arege conducted clearance operations in close coordination with the Air Task Force (ATF). The ATF identified intelligence driven targets which they engaged using multiple sorties in the vicinity of Tumbun Fulani and Tumbun Rago, where about twenty terrorists were neutralised. Ground forces then advanced and reached Tunbun Fulani but could not access Tunbun Rago due to marshy terrain.

The criminals on sighting the advancing troops fled and abandoned their check point, pulled off their uniforms and left their rifles and other equipment behind. Tunbun Rago was found deserted with Boko haram corpses and a shallow grave containing Boko haram corpses discovered, as the criminals beat a hasty retreat. Relatedly, the MNJTF Nigerien troops of Sector 4 while on patrol in the general area of Ngagam – Kabalewa and N’guigmi engaged a group of fleeing terrorists, neutralised five BHT/ISWAP insurgents, destroyed two Gun trucks and large stock of arms and ammunitions were recovered.

Sadly, one soldier paid supreme sacrifice and few others were wounded in action, currently receiving treatment at a military hospital.

2. In another encounter with Boko Haram Terrorists/ISWAP insurgents in the course of further clearance operations by MNJTF troops of Sector 1 (Cameroon) in the vicinity of Toumbuma, Kerenua, and Chikingudu neutralized 2 Boko haram criminals and maintained dominance in the area. At the end of the earlier battle engagement around Tunbun Fulani and Tunbun Rago, six (6) traumatized female BHTs hostages managed to escape and were found by own troops who then assisted them and brought them to own troop’s location. They were professionally handled and given medical care in the bush. The rescued women have been moved to Maiduguri for further processing and handover to the civil authorities before they rejoin their families. Preliminary investigation revealed that the escapees who hailed from Adamawa, Borno, Gombe and Yobe states were kidnapped at different places and times by the evil and criminally minded BHTs/ISWAP ranging from October 2020 to April 2021. Details of each escapee is as follows:

a. Grace Daniel age 38 years kidnapped at Mainok along Maiduguri Road On 18 December 2020.
b. Susan Lazarus aged 28 years kidnapped at Kupre Hong LGA Adamawa on 9 April 2021.
c. Jumai Inuwa aged 42 years kidnapped along Damaturu – Maiduguri highway on 19 October 2020.
d. Maria Adamu aged 27 years kidnapped at Gulak Adamawa state on 6 December 2020.
e. Martha Malu aged 25 years kidnapped at Damboa road on 1 December 2020.
f. Malakalya Dambade aged 37 years kidnapped at Mainok along Maiduguri highway on 25 February 2021.

3. The ongoing aggressive clearance patrol into the terrorists’ enclaves, continue to degrade the will and fighting spirit of the insurgents. The offensive operation characterized by raids, deliberate attacks, ambushes and air operations is exacting serious pressures on the insurgents, forcing them to continue retreating and enabling hostages to escape. This momentum would be sustained.

Signed,

Colonel Muhammad Dole
Chief of Military Public Information
HQ MNJTF NDJAMENA CHAD
20 April 2022

Zelensky Rejected Peace Offer Days Before Russian Offensive – WSJ

German Chancellor had reportedly attempted to convince the Ukrainian leader to drop NATO membership plan

Zelensky rejected peace offer days before Russian offensive – WSJ
German chancellor Olaf Scholz had offered Volodymyr Zelensky a chance for peace just days before the launch of the Russian military offensive, but the Ukrainian president turned it down, the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) has reported.

Scholz had made what the US outlet described as “one last push for a settlement between Moscow and Kiev” less than a week before the Russian forces were sent into Ukraine on February 24.

The chancellor told Zelensky in Munich on February 19 “that Ukraine should renounce its NATO aspirations and declare neutrality as part of a wider European security deal between the West and Russia,” the paper writes. The daily also claims that “the pact would be signed by Mr. Putin and Mr. Biden, who would jointly guarantee Ukraine’s security.”

However, Zelensky rejected the offer to make the concession and avoid confrontation, saying that “[Russia’s President Vladimir] Putin couldn’t be trusted to uphold such an agreement and that most Ukrainians wanted to join NATO,” the WSJ reports, without revealing its sources for the information.

“His answer left German officials worried that the chances of peace were fading,” the report points out.

Scholz and Zelensky did meet on that day on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference, at which each delivered an address.

Russia attacked its neighbor in late February, following Ukraine’s failure to implement the terms of the Minsk agreements signed in 2014, and Russia’s eventual recognition of the Donbass republics in Donetsk and Lugansk. The German and French brokered protocols had been designed to regularize the status of those regions within the Ukrainian state.

Russia has now demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join the US-led NATO military bloc. Kiev insists the Russian offensive was completely unprovoked and has denied claims it was planning to retake the rebel regions by force.

50 Hearty Cheers to A Cop Loved By All.

Have you seen a police officer that is loved by all and sundries?

DSP Kabir Iwalaka is a police officer who has defied all odds to maintain a high level of professionalism in his chosen career as a police officer. A man who chooses to listen to his people not minding any form of affiliation or indictment.

He is the current Divisional Police Officer in Charge of Ipaja Division, within his time at the helms of affairs in Ipaja environs, the entire area has witnessed relative peace which have been attested and confirmed by the residents of Ipaja as against the old time where people are not safe to walk when its dark for fear of being robbed and dispossessed of their personal belongings.

His professionalism and unbiased expertise towards conflict resolutions and peaceful coexistence among different tribes coexisting under his area of jurisdiction and many individuals that have cross his path as Divisional Police Officer in Ipaja, Itire, Akobo, and many other area has earned him several accolades and awards across Lagos command.

He rose from the cradle of professionalism to the top echelon where he currently occupies the rank of Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), and its certain that he will attain the highest rank as he press forward in securing the lives and properties of the citizens in his domain without fear or favor.

we join the Nigeria Police force ,his family and other well wishers to celebrate this fine gentleman, an incorruptible and professional police officer as he celebrate 50 fruitful years.

50 Hearty Cheers to DSP Kabir Iwalaka.

New Dress Code For Female Police officer Illegal;Ex-DIG Parry Osayande Declares

A retired Deputy Inspector General of Police, Parry Osayande, has faulted the approval of hijab for female police officers by the Inspector General of Police, Usman Baba.

The new dress code also allows female officers to wear stud earrings under their berets or peak caps while in uniform.police dress code

Osayende, at a press conference in Benin, Edo State on Wednesday described the newly-approved dress code for female police officers in the country as illegal and unconstitutional.

He said, “Though, the 1999 Constitution was imposed on Nigerians, the same does not give the IG the constitutional rights to say that President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the use of hijab, which is a Muslim mode of dressing for the Nigerian Police. The police should not have ethnic and religious colouration.

“The Constitution of Nigeria is the highest law of the land, and the Constitution says that if any other law is in variance with the constitution, that law will be null and void.

“There is a part of the Constitution that established Nigerian Police Council, which has the President as the chairman; it has the chairman of the Police Service Commission as member and the 36 state governors are also members. They are the only ones that have the constitutional right to approve dressing code for the Nigerian Po

A retired Deputy Inspector General of Police, Parry Osayande, has faulted the approval of hijab for female police officers by the Inspector General of Police, Usman Baba.

The new dress code also allows female officers to wear stud earrings under their berets or peak caps while in uniform.

Osayende, at a press conference in Benin, Edo State on Wednesday described the newly-approved dress code for female police officers in the country as illegal and unconstitutional.

He said, “Though, the 1999 Constitution was imposed on Nigerians, the same does not give the IG the constitutional rights to say that President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the use of hijab, which is a Muslim mode of dressing for the Nigerian Police. The police should not have ethnic and religious colouration.

“The Constitution of Nigeria is the highest law of the land, and the Constitution says that if any other law is in variance with the constitution, that law will be null and void.

“There is a part of the Constitution that established Nigerian Police Council, which has the President as the chairman; it has the chairman of the Police Service Commission as member and the 36 state governors are also members. They are the only ones that have the constitutional right to approve dressing code for the Nigerian Police.”

He alleged that the plan of the government is to Islamise Nigeria and warned that such move is dangerous and a breach of the constitution.

“The use of hijab is a breach of the constitution of the country and if you are a governor and breached the Constitution of the land, it is impeachment. If you are a President, it is impeachment. If the Attorney General does not know his job, somebody has to teach him,” he said

He alleged that the plan of the government is to Islamize Nigeria and warned that such move is dangerous and a breach of the constitution.

“The use of hijab is a breach of the constitution of the country and if you are a governor and breached the Constitution of the land, it is impeachment. If you are a President, it is impeachment. If the Attorney General does not know his job, somebody has to teach him,” he said.

Abba Kyari Pleads ‘Not Guilty’ To Drug Trafficking Charges

Suspended police officer Abba Kyari on Monday pleaded not guilty to drug trafficking charges brought against him by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).

The NDLEA had filed eight counts of hard drugs trafficking against Mr Kyari, who is also wanted in the United States for his relationship with convicted fraudster, Ramon ‘Hushpuppi’ Abbas.

He was arraigned on Monday along with six others before Justice Emeka Nwite of the Federal High Court, Abuja.

Mr Kyari, before his suspension, was a former Deputy Commissioner of Police.

Those arraigned along with Mr Kyari include Assistant Commissioner of Police ACP Sunday Ubua, Assistant Superintendent of Police ASP Bawa James, Inspector Simon Agirigba, Inspector John Nuhu, Chibuinna Patrick Umeibe and Emeka Alphonsus Ezenwanne.

Mr Abba Kyari was arraigned in an Abuja court on March 7, 2022 over drug trafficking related offences. Sodiq Adelakun/Channels Television
Mr Abba Kyari (L) was arraigned in an Abuja court on March 7, 2022 over drug trafficking related offences. Sodiq Adelakun/Channels Television

While the other defendants also pleaded not guilty to the charges when read to them, the sixth and seventh defendants, pleaded guilty to counts five, six and seven.

According to the NDLEA, Mr Kyari, between January 19 and 25, dealt in 17.55 kilograms of cocaine.

He is also being charged with obstruction of justice through attempted bribery of NDLEA officers.

See below the full details of the eight counts brought against Mr Kyari and his alleged accomplices:

Count one: “That you DCP Abba Kyari, ACP Sunday J. Ubua, ASP Bawa James, Inspector Simon Agirgba and Inspector John Nuhu, all male, on or about the 19th to 25th January 2022, at the office of Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Intelligence Response Team (IRT), Abuja conspired amongst themselves with ASP John Umoru (now at large) to deal in 17.55kilogrammes of cocaine and thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under section 14(b) of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency Act, CAP N30 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004.

Count two read: “That you DCP Abba Kyari, ACP Sunday J. Ubua, ASP Bawa James, Inspector Simon Agirgba and Inspector John Nuhu, all male, Adult on or about the 19th to 25th January 2022, at Abuja within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court dealt in 17.55kilogrammes of cocaine without lawful authority and thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under section 11(c) of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency Act, CAP N30 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004.

Count Three: “That you DCP Abba Kyari, ACP Sunday J Ubua, ASP Bawa James, Inspector Simon Agirgba and Inspector John Nuhu, all male, all male, Adult on or about the 19th to 25th January 2022, within the office of the Inspector-General of (IGP) Intelligence Response Team (IRT), Abuja, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court conspired amongst yourselves and with ASP John Umoru (now at large) to unlawfully tamper with 21.35 kilogramames of cocaine seized from Chibunna Patrick Umeibe and Emeka AlphonsEzenwannne in the custody of the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Intelligence Response Team (IRT), by removing and disposing 17.55 kilogrammes of the cocaine and by substituting same with some other substance and thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under section 14(b) of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency ACT CAP N30 Laws of the Federation 2004”

Count Four: That you DCP Abba Kyari, ACP Sunday J Ubua, ASP Bawa James, Inspector Simon Agirgba and Inspector John Nuhu, all male adults on or about the 19th to 25th January 2022, within the office of the Inspector-General of (IGP) Intelligence Response Team (IRT), Abuja, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable unlawfully tampered with 21.35 kilogramames of cocaine seized from Chibunna Patrick Umeibe and Emeka Alphonsus Ezenwannne in the custody of the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Intelligence Response Team (IRT), by removing and disposing 17.55 kilogrammes of the cocaine and substituting same with some other substance and thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under section 16 of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency ACT CAP N30 Laws of the Federation 2004.

Count Five: That you Chibunna Patrick Umeibe, male adult and Emeka Alphonsus Ezenwanne, male adult on or about the 19th January 2022 at Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu Nigeria, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court without lawful authority imported 21.35kilogrammes of cocaine and thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under section 14(b) of the National Drug Law enforcement Agency ACT CAP N30 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004.

Count Six: That you Chibunna Patrick Umeibe, male, adult; and you Emeka Alphonsus Ezenwanne, male adult on or about the 25th January 2022 at Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu, Nigeria within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court without lawful authority imported 21.35kilogrammes of cocaine and thereby committed an offence contrary to an punishable under section 11(a) of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency ACT CAP N30 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004.

Count Seven: That you Chibunna Patrick Umeibe, male, adult; and you Emeka Alphonsus Ezenwanne, male adult and one IK, now at large, on the 25th January 2022, at Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu, Nigeria within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court knowingly possessed 21.35 kilogrammes of cocaine and thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under section 11(d) of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency Act Cap N30 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004.

Count Eight: That you DCP Abba Kyari, on or about 25th January 2022, at a restaurant on Port Harcourt Crescent, Area 11, Garki Abuja, within the jurisdiction of the court, attempted to obstruct the Agency and its authorised officers in the exercise of their duties by offering the sum of $61,400.00 USD (sixty-one thousand, four hundred United States of America Dollars) to a senior officer of the Agency as inducement to prevent the testing of the
17.55kilogrammes of substance used to replace the cocaine seized from Chibunna Patrick Umeibe and Emeka Alphonsus Ezenwanne and thereby committed an offence contrary to section 23 and punishable under section 49 of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency Act Cap N30 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004.

Driver of Lagos BRT Who Killed Bamise Ayanwole Arrested.

Operatives of the Lagos State Police Command on Monday have arrested the driver of a Bus Rapid Transit who drove murdered 22-year-old Oluwabamise Ayanwole.

The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Adekunle Ajisebutu, made this known in a chat, even as he confirmed that the dead body of the lady has been found.

“The driver of the BRT has been arrested,” Ajisebutu stated.

He also said the killers of Ayanwole, who got missing in transit while onboard the bus, would face justice.

According to the PPRO, the abductors dumped the remains of the lady on the Carter Bridge by Ogogoro Community.

Ayanwola got missing while returning to Ota from Ajah on February 26 when she boarded a BRT bus with number 240257 going to Oshodi at about 7pm at Chevron Bus-Stop.

It was gathered that the victim worked as a Fashion Designer at Chevron Estate, Ajah spent her weekends in Ota, Ogun State, with her sister.

Sensing danger as the bus did not pick any other passenger at subsequent bus stops, Oluwabamise had engaged a friend using voice notes on her phone.

The voice notes showed that the bus driver said he liked Oluwabamise and asked for her name and other details.

She told her friend to pray for her as she became suspicious of the bus driver and in response, the friend told her to alight at Oworonsoki bus stop — before Oshodi bus stop.

Oluwabamise had also sent a video to her friend showing how dark it was in the bus and said, “There are three men and one woman in the bus. The woman is sitting at the back. That’s the number of the bus in case. Please pray for me.’’

That was the last that was heard from Oluwabamise, according to her mother.

Killers of Lagos BRT passenger will face justice – Police

In his statement titled, ‘Oluwabamise Ayanwole, Missing BRT Passenger Found Dead In Lagos’, the PPRO said, “The corpse of (Ayanwole) has been deposited at the morgue of the Mainland Hospital, Yaba, for autopsy.”

The statement added, “The bereaved family has been contacted and family members have identified the corpse as that of Oluwabamise Ayanwole, the lady earlier declared missing.

“The Commissioner of Police, Abiodun Alabi, fdc, mnim, psc, is saddened by this incident and, therefore, expresses, on behalf of the management, officers and men of the command, his heartfelt condolence to the bereaved family.

“Notwithstanding the death of Oluwabamise, the detectives handling the case would not rest on their oars until her killers are found.

“We, therefore, assure the concerned public and the bereaved family that we are closing on on the culprits and we are sure that soon the suspects would be arrested and made to face justice for this murderous act.

“While soliciting the cooperation of all and sundry, we once again appeal to anyone with additional information that could help the police in arresting the suspects to kindly oblige us. Such information, we assure, will be treated with utmost confidentiality.”

“The Command is ever determined and committed to protection of lives and properties of residents in the state; and has strengthened its security apparatus to prevent a recurrence of this ugly, disturbing incident.”

Lady missing in Lagos BRT found dead

The 22-year-old lady, Miss Oluwabamise Ayanwole, who got missing after boarding a Lagos Bus Rapid Transit vehicle, has been found dead.

One of Ayanwole’s relatives confirmed this to reporters on Monday.

“We are at the morgue. We have confirmed the corpse,” the relative said in an emotional-laden voice.

It was learnt that her corpse was dropped on Lagos Island by a BRT vehicle and a jeep.

Upon sighting the corpse by the roadside, an unknown man reportedly informed officials of Ebute Ero Police Station on Saturday evening.

The corpse was later taken to the Mainland Hospital mortuary.

“An autopsy will be carried out to confirm if any part of her body is missing,” the relative told newsmen

Ayanwola got missing while returning to Ota from Ajah on Saturday, February 26 when she boarded a BRT bus with number 240257 going to Oshodi at about 7 p.m. at Chevron Bus-Stop.

It was gathered that the victim worked as a Fashion Designer at Chevron Estate, Ajah and spent weekends at Ota, Ogun State, with her sister.

Sensing danger as the bus did not pick any other passenger at subsequent bus stops, Oluwabamise had engaged a friend using voice notes on her phone.

The voice notes showed that the bus driver said he liked Oluwabamise and asked for her name and other details.

She told her friend to pray for her as she became suspicious of the bus driver and in response, the friend told her to alight at Oworonsoki bus stop — before Oshodi bus stop.

Oluwabamise had also sent a video to her friend showing how dark it was in the bus and said, “There are three men and one woman in the bus. The woman is sitting at the back. That’s the number of the bus in case. Please pray for me.’’

That was the last that was heard from Oluwabamise, according to her mother.

How we escaped intense bombings, death in Ukraine/Russia war – Rescued Nigerians

Nigerians who escaped Russia’s ongoing military offensive in Ukraine arrived in Abuja, the nation’s capital, on Friday, narrating how they escaped the intense bombings and missiles fired by Russia’s military forces.

The war, which has led to the death of hundreds of civilians and troops, leaving thousands injured and many more displaced, has seen millions of foreign nationals fleeing Ukraine for neighbouring countries.

As of Friday night, no fewer than 775 Nigerians had been flown back to the country. The first batch comprising 415 persons arrived from Romania in the morning while the second batch, comprising 180, arrived from Poland at about 6:30 pm. Another 180 arrived in the third batch. They were all received at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja. One more batch was being expected from Hungary and Poland as of the time of filing this report.

Some of the returnees who fled Ukraine to Romania told Saturday PUNCH how they were able to escape the invasion. Despite appeals for diplomacy and the heavy sanctions imposed by other countries, the European Union and other allies, the Russian forces, under the strict orders of President Vladimir Putin, have continued to launch bombs and missiles into different parts of Ukraine, the second largest city in Europe.

Anuoluwakintan Olawoye, a 300-level medical student at the University of Ternopil, said apart from the racial discrimination, she starved, trekked and stood for long hours. She noted that the reports of the invasion and bombs going off in different parts of the country were enough to plant fears in anybody, but that she was happy she was able to escape.

She said, “I do not wish my enemy what I went through, even though mine was not as bad as others’. There was a curfew, we starved because there was nothing to buy, no store opened and sirens blared every time! No taxis to move from one place to another. We had to trek for hours. The city was becoming vacant. We couldn’t sleep knowing that the country was at war.

“On Thursday morning, there was a bombing in Kyiv but thankfully I was in Ternopil so I escaped. Again on Friday, some parts of Lviv were bombed; Lviv is two hours journey away from Ternopil.”Olawoye said she made for the Romanian border after trekking for hours but on getting there, she found that preference was given to Ukrainian citizens.

She added, “We got to the border around 4 pm and we were told to wait. We waited till 8 pm and they didn’t allow us (blacks) to go inside. We attempted to make a move when they called on women and children and they turned us back. They only allowed their citizens to go. It was two hours after they left that they said they would come back to us.

“We pleaded with the officers that the snow was much outside, I was shivering as a result but they did nothing. I crossed about 2 am and it was by luck. Some were not that lucky. The racism that I encountered at the Ukrainian border was not for the weak. They were pushing us aside just to allow their trucks to move. They shouted at us, pushed us and did all sorts.”

Olawoye, however, said she was treated very well in Romania, noting that she would be proceeding to meet her parents. She added that she would love to return to Ukraine to complete her studies once the war ends.

Also, Abraham Praise said she never believed she could experience such in her lifetime, especially with the bombs and missiles that had killed both troops and civilians in different parts of the country.

She said, “I trekked for three hours non-stop. I had friends who trekked for more hours. You just had to forget you have legs while you keep going. The thought of you keeping yourself alive would keep you going. Some people fainted along the road. The stronger ones among us had to give them support. I never thought I would have to experience something like this.”

Abraham called on the government to assist evacuees with therapy to get over the experience, saying people who survived war, no matter how distant, needed some counselling.

She said, “Everyone who has gone through this experience needs therapy. Although we are a strong people, to have made it out alive and be able to see your friends and families is exciting. For some of us, the future is still uncertain because of the disruption in our academics. I am in my third year while some others are in their final year and are meant to graduate in June.”

Praise added, “Although I am happy I would be seeing my family, this is not just the way I wanted it. But there is still life and there’s hope. If this is where we would have to start from to move ahead, we are ready.”

Rabia Zalka who was in Ukraine with her sister said she didn’t know if she would survive, but that to have made it back to Nigeria alive despite the invasion, rising tension, the bombing of cities and even the capture of the Nuclear plant by the Russians, meant a lot to them.

“I didn’t think it was really serious until my sister and I walked a long distance to the Romanian border. I trekked for hours. It was not easy. We were keeping an eye on each other and helping each other,” said Zalka.

Another returnee, Peter Ajuwon, said the Ukraine war should serve as a lesson to Nigerians on the importance of peace.

He said, “War is not a favourable situation. Every aspect of life gets affected. I encourage people to embrace peace in Nigeria. Our experiences crossing the border to Romania were not pleasant. Getting to Romania was hell, but we had a pleasant experience in Romania. We got a lot of support from the Romanian government and the Nigerian Ambassador there. Some Romanian NGOs showed us love too; they didn’t discriminate.”

Some of the parents and relatives who came to receive them were visibly elated seeing their children alive. Some of them had kept vigil at the airport, awaiting the return of their children.