Nigerians stuck in Russia still here 

Nigerians stuck in Russia still here
Photo: Ekaterina Sazhneva

Despite the fact that the President’s plane was sent for them.

It was raining; the heavens were crying, seeing off Nigerians leaving Moscow after the World Cup. The President of the country Muhammad al-Bukhari was forced to organize a special fight to Russia just to return his numerous compatriots, currently holing up in Russia, to their historical homeland.

The president was cornered amid an escalating international scandal - hundreds of young Nigerians fell victims to crooks, came to the world soccer championship for a great deal of money to find illegal work in Russia and stay here forever. As a result, they were left without funds and return tickets, which were illegally annulled by the air carrier.

It was raining all night. The police, airport security service, and even an immediate reaction team met three buses with departing Nigerians near the entrance to Domodedovo to avoid any incidents.

I’m recent days; poor Nigerians lived at a state expense in three hostels on the outskirts of Moscow. They were placed there by their embassy, which worried about crowds of Nigerians sleeping on the sidewalks right at its doors. They gathered there by word of mouth from all over Moscow.


At a rough estimate, there are about two hundred of those Nigerians who did understand that the hospitable and soccer Russia is not the same as the migratory one, that there is not much to do there and it was necessary to go home. The rest of the hundreds are still running around somewhere. Someone seems to be eager to get into Europe to obtain refugee status.

The Nigerian rebellion is senseless and merciless - a week ago there was a rumor that a special plane had already taken off from their country and was waiting for everyone at Sheremetyevo. All Nigerians at once headed there, but they confused the terminals and ended up in the VIP zone, from which celebrities and oligarchs leave our country, the wealthy were so scared by the black friends who surrounded them, that they called the Special Rapid Deployment Force.

Now everything is perfectly organized at Domodedovo. It is evident that this time the sufferers were waited-for here. The whole waiting room on the second floor was allocated for them, where the security of the Nigerians themselves (and the rest of the passengers) was carefully guarded by the security forces.

"Wow, what are they doing here?" - other Nigerians, who returned from the World Cup in an ordinary way, approached the limiters.

"You see, your President has sent a private plane for the fans," I explained to them.

"Cool!" the law-abiding African tourists became excited. "Was it possible, too? We wish we had known about it. We would use this."

"Probably, illegal immigrants are being deported" - other passengers whispered. Not-looking-well Nigerians, who put jackets and T-shirts on their faces - so they were not photographed, made a strange and, I would not say good, impression. Their behavior was insolent as if they were bosses there. Should anything happen, they gathered in a crowd and started to chant in their language.

"I want to smoke; I am a free man. I am legally here. Why am I not allowed to smoke at the airport?" one or another said indignantly.

The President's plane was already waiting and was supposed to depart at 23-20, but due to traffic congestion and confusion, buses with Nigerians were stuck on their way to the airport, the flight was postponed, then again and again. Well, again! Departure was postponed till the next day - July 20.

None of the seers-off already believed that they would fly away. However, the Nigerians themselves were not worried, for the past month they became used to more significant troubles, moreover given the slums of their capital Lagos, our metropolitan airports are like posh five-star hotels to them. All would be well if the Nigerians did not constantly ask to eat, drink, go to the toilet, they occupied all the free recharges for phones in the nearest fifty meters, scattered in different directions and did not want their movements to be controlled in any way.

At 3 a.m. it became clear that the evacuation operation can be thwarted once again. The room the authorities allocated for the special board to depart was still missed. It was more and more difficult to restrain the citizens of Nigeria. Finally, the ambassador of this country arrived early in the morning, trying to calm down his unfortunate fellow people and somehow speed up their departure from Russia.

"You know, I had a dream last night that we have finally sent them away," sighed Yulia Siluyanova, coordinator of the public movement against slavery Alternative. She collects passports of the departing people. As there are no tickets for the special flight, the Nigerians will leave Russia according to this document and the name list, which they drew up themselves. The main thing is that they do not include someone extra in it. After talking to the Nigerians closely, I understand: they can do that.

At the time of publication of this material, Nigerians are still staying in Russia, although they have undergone pre-flight registration. In the departure area, none of the representatives of the public organizations and the embassy accompany them.

Tags: World Cup
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