One of the 19 Nigerians who were detained in Poland after fleeing camps in war-torn Ukraine has denied his Nigerian nationality for that of Cameroon.
This is just as five out of those stranded in Poland choose to apply for asylum instead of returning home, according to a statement released by the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission on Wednesday.
The commission revealed that 13 Nigerians were released from various camps in Poland following the intervention of the Nigerian Ambassador to Poland, Maj Gen Christian Ugwu (retd.).
However, one of the remaining six "in detention claimed he is a Cameroonian because the mother is from Cameroon."
NIDCOMM's spokesman, Abdul-Rahman Balogun, quoted Ugwu as saying that “Unfortunately, the remaining five all applied for international protection (asylum) in Poland, including Igwe Ikechukwu Christian, who had been interviewed by some foreign media.
“They can not be released until the Government of Poland takes a decision on their application or they decide to withdraw the application.”
Speaking further, the envoy revealed that the "Mission would continue to do its best to ensure that the interest of Nigerians is well taken care of, despite the fact that they had been adequately briefed on the likely consequences of remaining as undocumented immigrants in Poland."
This is in line with an evacuation approval of Nigerians, mostly students trapped in the Russian-Ukrainian crisis, granted by the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), in March.
Through interministerial agencies coordinated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, "over 1,600 Nigerians were brought back home," the statement added, however, some Nigerians chose to remain behind and were clamped into detention centres in Poland.
Meanwhile, the NIDCOM Chairman, Dr Abike Dabiri-Erewa, has commended the successful intervention of the Nigerian mission in Poland.
Dr Dabiri-Erewa reiterated the call for Nigerians to obey the laws of the countries they reside in.