The Nigerian Foreign Ministry said 75 Nigerian football fans out of 230 had disappeared in Russia after the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
Ministry spokesman Dr. Tope Elias-Fatile told the News Agency Nigeria(NAN) in Abuja on Wednesday that fans had fled despite the government’s efforts to repatriate them.
Fatile said that 230 stranded Nigerian football fans were profiled to board Ethiopian Airline chartered in Abuja, but at the last minute, only 155 boarded the flight.
“As in the last count, more than 230 stranded Nigerians were allowed to board an Ethiopian Airline flight to Abuja, however, only 155 embarked on the flight that arrived Friday night, July 22,” he said.
He said ministry officials had to help feed some Nigerians stranded in Moscow, as many of them had nothing.
He said that even if they had the right not to come back, it would be better if they come back because of bad weather in this country.
The spokesman for the minister also said that the mission had done a lot to facilitate their return, but they did not appreciate it.
“Do you know that the mission leaders had to sacrifice their income by contributing money to feed the stuck fans?” he stressed.
He said that if, however, they repented and decided to return, the ministry is always ready to help them.
According to Fatile, the federal government is always ready to help Nigerians anytime, anywhere in the world
The spokesman also stated that Foreign Minister Geoffrey Onyeama had also established contacts with the relevant agencies to open an investigation into alleged cases of human trafficking in the case.
Geoffrey Onyeama, who was at the airport to monitor their arrival, said the federal government would review the case.
Onyeama said the plan to probe the problem surrounding the incident is ongoing.