I spent 24 hours underground in Kharkiv, thinking I’d never see my family again —Ajayi, a Ukrainian returnee.

I spent 24 hours underground in Kharkiv thinking Id never see my family again —Ajayi a Ukrainian returnee.
I spent 24 hours underground in Kharkiv, thinking I'd never see my family again —Ajayi, a Ukrainian returnee.

Ajayi Ireoluwa Adeyemi, a Nigerian man of 21, has described how he hid underground for over 24 hours in Kharkiv, Ukraine, to avoid being attacked.

Adeyemi described Ukraine as “hell” for him, and he worried that he would never see his parents again.

After arriving at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja on Friday night, the youth stated this in a brief interaction with journalists.

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He was one of 181 Nigerians trapped in Ukraine evacuated by the Federal Government of Poland.

Officials from the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Sadiya Umar Faruk, the National Emergency Management Agency, and the Nigerian Diaspora Commission, among others, welcomed them.

“I’m glad to be back at home,” he said. It wasn’t easy at all for us. We were subjected to racism and had numerous violent encounters with strangers, but one thing is certain: Nigeria came through for us. We are pleased to report that the federal government has exceeded our expectations.

“However, there was a time when I was afraid I wouldn’t see my parents again.” In Kharkiv, Ukraine, I had to run underground for over 24 hours. Throughout the time I was underground, I could hear gunshots. “I had given up all hope.”

“Once there’s life, there’s hope,” he said of his studies in Ukraine being abruptly interrupted. I suppose I will return to school at some point. It is something that is really unpleasant, and no one wants to go through it. I’m more concerned about the Ukrainians who have been hurt.”

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