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Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Government commences trauma therapy for Nigerian returnees

The Federal Government of Nigeria has commenced a psychosocial trauma therapy session for Nigerians who returned to the country due to Russia-Ukraine war.

The programme which is 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 has been conducted for the returnees in Abuja on Thursday. 

According to the commission, the programme will equally take place for the returnees in all the six geo-political zones in the country.

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While speaking at the event, Dr. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, the NIDCOM Chairman, 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.

Ms. Dabiri stated that, “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.

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

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