Volcanic eruption: FG reacts to report of ‘Nigerians trapped’ in Southern Caribbean
The federal government has disclosed that the Nigerians in St. Vincent and the Grenadines did not request to be evacuated after a volcanic eruption hit the island.
The Caribbean island of St. Vincent erupted in April after decades of inactivity, leaving people in need of relief materials.
Recall that on Wednesday, Levi Odoe who had described himself as the consul-general of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, said 230 Nigerian medical students were trapped after the eruption and needed assistance to return to the country.
Speaking on the matter, Odeo in a meeting with the senate president Ahmad Lawan said “They (stranded Nigerian students) have been calling me requesting to see what can be done and I thought to myself, that the best thing to do will be to request an audience with his excellency, the senate president.
“So, we are here to request any assistance at all that can be given to the Island and to Nigerians that are stranded there.”
But in a statement on Friday, Ferdinand Nwonye, spokesman of the ministry of foreign affairs, said the Nigerians on the island were indeed affected by the eruption, but there was no request for any of them to be brought back home.
Nwonye added that Odoe’s appointment as consul for the island was terminated in July 2019, and urged him to desist from parading himself as such.
“Consequent to recent media reports alleging that Nigerian Nationals are stranded in St. Vincent and the Grenadines which is attributed to the volcanic eruption in the Caribbean Island, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs wishes to make the following clarifications,” the spokesman said.
“First and foremost, the Island nation of St. Vincent and the Grenadines is under the coverage of the Nigerian High Commission in Trinidad and Tobago.
“Secondly, the Nigerian Mission in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago is in contact with the leadership of the Nigerian Community Association in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, which is headed by Dr. Folu Ayanleke.
“The Nigerian Community no doubt is affected by the impact of the unfortunate natural disaster and needs relief materials, but there is no request for evacuation back home.
“The Ministry also wishes to inform the general public that the appointment of Dr. Levi Wilson Odoe, who is parading himself as Honourable Consul of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, was terminated on the 16th of July, 2019. Dr. Odoe should therefore desist from parading himself as such because he is not in any position to solicit support from the Government as well as private individuals on behalf of Nigerian Students in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
“The Nigerian High Commission in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago is abreast with the challenges faced by the students and is working closely with the leadership of the Nigerian Community Association to provide necessary help to the affected students.”
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