Tuesday, July 5, 2022
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FG conducts trauma therapy for Ukraine returnees

The Federal Government has conducted a psychosocial trauma therapy session for Nigerians who returned to the country from Ukraine.

The session, which was held in Abuja on Thursday, will also be conducted for other returnees across the six geo-political regions in the country.

The programme was organised by the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, in collaboration with the National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons and Project Victory Call Initiative, led by Dr Bolaji Akinremi.

Speaking at the event, the NIDCOM Chairman, Dr Abike Dabiri-Erewa, stressed the importance of offering psychosocial therapy for the returnees, many of whom had suffered different forms of trauma on account of their experiences in the Ukrainian war which broke out in February.

She disclosed that contacts of experts would also be provided to enable those in need of psychosocial support to get quick help.

Dabiri-Erewa alleged that many Nigerians who chose to stay back in Poland, after fleeing Ukraine, were being held in Polish detention centres under terrible conditions.

According to her, the Polish authorities discriminated against Nigerians and black Africans, noting that Ukrainians and persons of the white race were not detained.

She stated, “Some Nigerians who went to Poland were locked up in detention centres under terrible conditions; this is unacceptable, everybody should reject it.

“They are being detained because of the colour of their skin; white people were not locked up. It is very wrong, it is racist and unacceptable.”

The NIDCOM boss appealed to the Polish government to release the detained Nigerians and other Africans, and allow them to leave for their countries.

The President of Nigerian students in Ukraine, Fehintola Moses, and others, narrated their ordeals in Ukraine, stating that they were emotionally drained and suffered serious trauma before being evacuated.

Reacting to Dabiri-Erewa’s allegation, the First Secretary and Deputy Head of Mission, Polish Embassy in Nigeria, Joanna Poplawska-Lilumbi, described it as disinformation aimed at discrediting and weakening the image of Ukraine and Poland.

Poplawska-Lilumbi, in an emailed reaction to The PUNCH, stated, “I would like to firmly stress that those allegations are not true. Spreading the narrative about the alleged segregation of refugees from Ukraine on the basis of race or religion may be an element of disinformation, aimed at discrediting and weakening the image of Ukraine and Poland.

 “Faced with threats to the security of Europeans, emotionally charged messages should be treated with extreme caution by checking their sources and avoiding the spread of unverified information.”

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