Citizen Nnamdi Okafor In Ukraine

Ozodinukwe Okenwa

Ozodinukwe Okenwa

The Russian President, Vladimir Putin, had thought that his invasion master plan of neighbouring Ukraine would be an easy task given the Russian military power. Now, the Kremlin dictator has been forced by unforeseen circumstances of mass resistance by Ukrainians to re-strategise and move on to plan B. Putin and his war Generals had thought invading Ukraine would not take up to 48 hours but now two weeks down the gory line the Russian forces are encountering stiff resistance spurred by remarkable patriotism and intrepidity seldom seen elsewhere.

Putin is a bloody tyrant and he wants to bring back the Soviet expired evil empire. Since he took the decision to launch a military aggression against Ukraine the international community led by the US and Europe (including the Great Britain of course) had been very active supporting the people of Ukraine, financially, militarily and morally. Mountain of economic and financial sanctions had been imposed on Russia.

And sports was not left behind as Russia has been banned from participating in virtually all sporting events around the world including the World Cup in Qatar this year. The Russian elite, businessmen and athletes and footballers are feeling the heat at home and abroad.

President Putin remains a ‘mad’ man isolated and his country is reeling under a barrage of international sanctions. His blizzard of lies and propaganda are being countered effectively. Russia will never be the same again after this military misadventure in Ukraine.

Putin is haughtily arrogant, a killer without conscience! He had claimed in a national TV address he delivered prior to the commencement of hostilities that his major objective was to ‘demilitarize’ and “de-Nazify” Ukraine. He warned of dire consequences in the event of any Western military intervention.

And as the war dragged on with little success on the ground he had brandished a nuclear threat, placing nuke Commanders on red alert! Undeniably Putin is capable of doing enormous damage to the free world if war breaks out.

The young embattled Ukrainian President, Volodymyr Zelenskyy (44), must be commended here for his inspiring leadership and mass mobilization in the face of a world superpower. It is not time to play comedy or act a movie from which he made name for himself. But a hard time to exploit the unity and determination of a people to defeat evil.

What struck me was the collective patriotism and defiance of ordinary Ukrainians. One could see them demonstrating against the Russian invasion in a city occupied; one could see them lining up in police posts to pick up weapons with which to defend themselves and their motherland. One could see one of them on video online using his bare hands to stop an approaching armoured tank! And as the tank pulled to a halt the young man went down on his knees in front of the tank daring the driver to kill him!

One could see an old man in one of the besieged cities confronting Russian soldiers on the street, pouring invectives and expletives on the soldiers and asking them furiously why they were destroying his country. He claimed he was Russian but had chosen Ukraine as his country telling the stunned soldiers to go home settle their national problems!

And in yet another video uploaded online an Ukrainian middle-aged woman armed with flowers was seen throwing the flowers at the Russian invaders and telling them they would die and be buried with the flowers in the Ukrainian soil!

As the war in Ukraine rages on entering its second destructive week reports online emerged recently to the effect that in the process of the massive evacuation of foreigners stranded in Ukraine by their home countries the Nigerian government sent in planes to evacuate Nigerians (mostly students) from the war-torn European country. Thus far thousands had left Europe for Nigeria.

But for citizen Nnamdi Okafor (32) going back home is out of the question, nay equation! He had therefore elected to stay put despite the present and future danger associated with such risky decision. In an interview he granted a media outlet abroad the young man from Anambra State gave coherent cogent reasons why the free flight home was ruled out completely. He said he was an economic migrant and because of that status he preferred staying behind, relocating to a safer city in Ukraine outside the besieged Kiev.

Amidst Russian indiscriminate bombardments there is a global concern over the fate of millions of civilians trapped in many cities. Citizen Okafor may not have witnessed war before (not the least the Biafran pogrom of the early 70s) but he has chosen the military chaos and anarchy in Ukraine to the organized chaos and anarchy back home in Nigeria!

Brother Nnamdi made it clear that long after his graduation and the compulsory NYSC service year he had tried in vain to find an employment in Nigeria. And now that he had reached Europe any thought of returning to the nightmare that is Nigeria must be discarded as an idea.

We understand citizen Okafor’s frustrations and dilemma. Dying in Ukraine while searching for a better future or dying in Nigeria, poor, hungry and hopeless? The question is: what are you returning to or for? The federal government, according to reports, hands out a paltry hundred Dollars to those landing at Abuja from Ukraine.

Mr Okafor had asked his interviewer: “So, if I hop into the plane because I have seen a free flight, what happens after I come down in Abuja or Lagos or wherever? Has anything changed in Nigeria? Will I now get the job, lack of which forced me out?” saying decisively that if his destiny was to die in Ukraine so be it!

As the deadly bloody conflict enters its crucial stage we want to tell Putin that we are all Ukrainians. In this fight for the sovereignty and soul of Ukraine we stand together in solidarity with the brave Ukrainians.

Vladimir Putin, the Kremlin executive lunatic, must be defeated! Like Adolf Hitler, the reincarnation of whom he is, Putin and his dogs of war must be given a bloody nose.

We are all Ukrainians — Africans, Americans, Asians and Europeans! And together as ‘Ukrainians’, whites and blacks, Putin must be told that he is fighting his last war here in the land of the living.

Together as ‘Ukrainians’ we will win!


SOC Okenwa



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