The Nigerian Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Russian Federation, Professor Steve Ugbah has advised Nigerians harbouring thoughts of illegally staying back in Russia after the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia to desist from doing such.
A video of Nigerian football fans stranded in the Russian capital, Moscow went viral over the past few days, raising serious concerns over what would happen once the global football fiesta ends on Sunday night.
There have been continued reports of Nigerians with FAN ID trying to escape, even to neighbouring European countries since Nigeria’s group opener against Croatia in Kaliningrad. While he understands the situation of his compatriots, Prof. Ugbah in a chat with ACLSports in Moscow thinks it is silly for anyone to want to do that.
“I can’t prevent anyone from seeking a better life anywhere and for whatever reason,” began Ugbah to www.aclsports.com
“But it is foolhardy for anyone to believe that a FAN ID will allow you to stay here (in Russia) permanently. Your FAN ID is only an instrument that allows you to watch the games and go back to your country.
“Anyone who is harbouring the thoughts of leaving Nigeria with a FAN ID to come here and stay permanently or moving somewhere else is totally misguided and I think it is a risk that it is really not worth taking in a place where you don’t have the benefit of the language, you don’t know the culture nor the terrain,” he added.
As sincere as he can be, Ugbah admitted that there are quite enormous opportunities in Russia for any immigrant but insists that the immigration must be in the right way.
He noted further that the wintry weather in Vladimir Putin’s land is also one major factor that a would-be immigrant must take into consideration.
“There are opportunities here for sure but you want to do it in a legal way.
“You don’t want to come here and be running and hiding. I can assure you that after the fifteenth of July, there will be sweps across Russia and anyone caught will be deported and not be able to come back. So people need to be very very cautious about taking that launch to Russia given this opportunity.
“Besides, the winters here are very severe. We are happy now that it is July, perhaps August, we would enjoy the weather, but come September-October, it becomes brutal. So, this is something that I wouldn’t wish for anybody,” concluded Ugbah who also represents Nigeria at the Republic of Belarus.
Fisayo Dairo reporting from Moscow