The Nigerian government said on Monday it would not “tolerate” the recruitment of Nigerians into the Ukrainian military’s action against Russia, following reports that a recruitment drive was underway in the country.
“The attention of the Federal Government of Nigeria has been drawn to an alleged ongoing registration of Nigerian volunteers into the fighting force of Ukraine at the Ukrainian Embassy in Abuja,” the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement.
The ministry said the Ukrainian embassy had refuted the claims but confirmed that a number of Nigerians had approached the mission indicating their willingness to fight for Ukraine.
“Furthermore, the Embassy clarified that the Ukrainian government is not admitting foreign volunteer fighters and as such dissociated itself from the claim that it is requesting $1,000 from each Nigerian volunteer for air ticket and visa,” the ministry added.
The Eastern European country is defending against a Russian military operation which started on February 24.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy last week said some 16,000 foreigners had volunteered to join Ukraine’s side from all over the world.
Senegal’s Foreign Ministry on Friday summoned the Ukraine’s Ambassador, Yurii Pyvovarov, in response to calls to recruit Senegalese to fight in Ukraine against Russia.
According to the ministry, the Ukrainian Embassy in Senegal published a post on Facebook urging Senegalese volunteers and foreign nationals in Senegal to join the war against Russia.
The Nigerian foreign ministry further noted it would work with the Ukrainian Embassy in Abuja and other relevant authorities to prevent the possibility of Nigerians being drafted into the military actions.
“As a responsible member of the international community and consistent with our obligations under international law, Nigeria discourages the use of mercenaries anywhere in the world and will not tolerate the recruitment, in Nigeria, of Nigerians as mercenaries to fight in Ukraine or anywhere else in the world,” the statement said.