As the war in Ukraine continues, Two Nigerian students They described their tragic escape when they returned home after escaping Russian invasion of the country.
Adetomiwa Adeniyi, 24, and Amamchim Steve-Ajufo, 17, both studied medicine in Ukraine before Russian troops invaded. The Nigerian government is evacuating its civilians from the war in Ukraine, and more than 1,500 of them have returned home, officials say.
Adeni and Steve-Ajufo are among the Nigerian students recently expelled by the government.
The couple traveled to neighboring Romania via the Ukrainian border. The experience they told me was frightening and unfamiliar.
“There were three lines: one for Ukrainians, one for Indians and one for Africans. I wondered why it was since we all tried to leave,” Adeni told CNN’s Jain Asher.
“Whether you were Ukrainian or white, it was as if you were speeding to the gate (on the Romanian border). I have lost hope that I can overcome, ”he added.
In recent days CNN has spoken to many – mainly African and Indian students studying in Ukraine – who have complained that it is difficult to cross the border into Ukraine.
Others said Enjoyed racist treatment Ukrainian refugees have been given priority by Ukrainian security forces and border officials for allegedly “misbehaving against foreign students.”
Steve-Azufo said he saw Ukrainians standing among them and was ordered by Ukrainian border officials to return to the queue for Africans.
“I accidentally went to the Ukrainian line and was told to return to my side immediately. I cried en masse. The border officers shouted ‘Go back, go back !.’ I was so tired and cold I did not understand what was going on and I wanted to give up so many times, but I reminded my mom, ”said the 17-year-old medical student.
Adeniyi and Steve-Ajufo eventually made it to the Roman capital, Bucharest, where they were flown back to Nigeria on a charter flight provided by the Nigerian government.
However, young Nigerian students told CNN that Ukraine had become their home and that they had been devastated to leave an Eastern European country besieged by Russian forces.
“This (Ukraine) is my home. I have been there for almost six years, ”Adeni told CNN.
According to Steve-Azufo, her house (Ukraine) was “snatched away” from her.
“It breaks my heart,” he says. “Whenever I think about it or see the news of a bomb blast somewhere else (in Ukraine) or someone else is dead, I’m angry that my house was taken away from me. I’m shocked,” he told CNN.
Ukraine is home to many foreign students who want to study there because it is cheaper than other Western countries. The country also has a strong reputation for medical studies.
According to the Office of the President of Nigeria, about 4,000 Nigerian students are studying in Ukraine, most of them studying medicine.
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