Coronavirus: Nigerian students stranded in China, beg FG to evacuate them

Abike

Nigerian students in Wuhan, China have lamented their alleged abandonment by the Federal Government as other nationals are evacuated.

CNN reports that since the Chinese city went into lockdown three weeks ago, a Nigerian student, Victor Vincent, has watched as other international students on his campus have returned home.

According to 26-year-old Vincent, last week, it was the turn of a group of pupils from Myanmar who lived in the apartment above.

The China University of Geosciences student said, “They knocked on my door to say goodbye. And give me their fresh vegetables, because they wouldn’t be needing them.”

Vincent is reportedly one of around 50 Nigerian students living in Wuhan, the epicenter of the global coronavirus outbreak, who say they have been “abandoned” by the Nigerian government and whose repeated pleas for evacuation and medical supplies are “largely ignored by government officials.”

The report also noted that the students, along with over a dozen other Nigerian teachers and business people living in Hubei province, had repeatedly written and called Nigerian government officials requesting assistance.

According to them, “very little” has been forthcoming from the Federal Government.

With the virus death toll now topping 1,000, several countries, including the United States, the UK, and Japan, are working to evacuate their citizens from Wuhan but Nigeria is yet to take such a step, CNN stated.

Vincent, who is an executive of the Nigerian Students in Wuhan Association, said the group had asked the government for evacuation and medical supplies, such as masks, goggles, gloves, and disinfectants.

The report said there was “a glimmer of hope” last Thursday when Vincent, who is also the student association’s financial secretary, received a grant of 20,000 Chinese yuan ($2,870) from the Nigerian ambassador to China.

According to Vincent, who has been studying in Wuhan since September 2018, the money was provided to “assist us in procuring foodstuffs and medical supplies”.

He added, “Other than that, the situation remains the same. We still have no clear indication of when we are getting evacuation, where we will be quarantined or even if that will happen at all.

“As each day passes, the chances of evacuation slip by. It’s the total lack of support and sense of abandonment by your country.”

When contacted, the spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ferdinand Nwonye, told The PUNCH that he had not received official communication from the Nigerian missions in China on the matter.

Nwonye said, “There is no official communication to that effect that has got to me, even from the mission there. So, I haven’t seen any official communication from there. We will get to our mission either in Beijing or Shanghai.” Punch

 

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