The Nigerian government has said they cannot evecuate its in Ukraine until the airports are reopened.

President Vladimir Putin of Russia, in the early hours of Thursday, had ordered an invasion of Ukraine.

The invasion was marked with shelling and rocket attacks on several Ukrainian major cities, including the capital, Kyiv, leading to dozens of deaths.

The invasion, which has continued, has created widespread panic and seen many fleeing Ukraine.

Countries such as India, South Africa, among others had announced the facilitation of the evacuation of their nationals from Ukraine to neighbouring Poland by setting up offices at the Ukrainian-Polish borders.

According to the Nigerian Foreign Affairs Ministry, there are no fewer than 5,600 Nigerians in Ukraine, majority of who are students.

Ukraine is a choice destination for many Nigerian students, especially those in medical-related fields, because it is cheaper compared with other western countries.

The National Association of Nigerian Students in Ukraine had sent out a Save Our Soul message to the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), seeking immediate evacuation from Ukraine.

On Friday, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, said the Federal Government was concerned about the safety of the 5,600 Nigerians in Ukraine.

“The advice we were getting is that we should not panic. The embassy was in touch with the students telling them to take reasonable precautions,” Onyeama said.

The foreign affairs minister spoke in Abuja after having separate meetings with the Ukrainian ambassador to Nigeria, Kirdoda Valerii, and his Russian counterpart, Alexei Shebarshin.

Onyeama disclosed that during his meeting with the Russian envoy, he discussed the possibility of Nigeria getting her citizens out of Ukraine but the Russian envoy told him there might be risk involved.

According to him, Shebarshin, however, said Russia was mindful of the civilians from foreign countries and would take all the necessary measures to ensure their security.

“He was a lot more sanguine, optimistic that no harm will come to them, but we cannot take any risks,” the minister quoted Shebarshin to have said.

However, Onyeama said he made it clear to the Russian envoy that the Federal Government of Nigeria would not condone the violation of the territorial integrity of a United Nations member state with which Nigeria has diplomatic relations.