By Emmanuel Nduka
At least 115 Nigerians stormed the Ukrainian Embassy in Abuja on Wednesday to answer the call for volunteer fighters by the Ukrainian President, Volodymyr Zelensky, to bolster its fight against the Russian invasion authorized by President Vladimir Putin.
The desperate youths were directed by the embassy to put down their names in a register provided.
The development is surprisingly a far cry from the trend back home where Nigerian youths are not totally motivated to join the armed forces to fight the many security challenges facing the country.
While Journalists at the embassy were barred from taking photographs of the volunteers, the Second Secretary at the embassy, Bohdan Soltys, confirmed the development, but said that no step had yet been taken to that effect.
It would be recalled that in a statement released on Sunday, Zelensky had accused the Russian army of killing civilians and praised Ukrainians for having the courage to defend themselves.
The President said the assault by Russia was not just “Russia’s invasion of Ukraine” but also the beginning of a war against democracy and basic human rights.
Subsequently, he called on anyone who wished to join the defense of Ukraine, Europe and the world to come and fight side by side with Ukrainians.
Recently, former Nigerian Police spokesman, Frank Mba, expressed concern over the lack of interest of young Nigerians from the southern part of the country in joining the rank and file cadre (recruits)
Giving a breakdown of the applications received as at January 7, 2022, Mba said out of the 81,005 applications received nationwide, only 1,404 applications (less than 2% of the total applications) were received from the five states in the South East.
Stakeholders who gathered at a sensitisation programme held at the Lagos State Secretariat, blamed poor remuneration/welfare, lack of adequate weapons, low entry qualifications, among others, as disincentives to southern youths.
Similarly, Human Rights Writers’ Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) posited that as long as professional misconduct and criminality are tolerated at the highest levels of the present day Nigeria Police Force, there won’t be a lot of useful youths in the South who will be willing and available to sign up into the Force.