Member of Parliament for North Tongu, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa.
Ranking Member on Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, has entreated government to go beyond urging Ghanaians in Ukraine to seek shelter amidst the crisis.
In a Facebook post on Thursday, February 24, Mr. Ablakwa noted that “asking students to seek their own shelter in these petrifying circumstances can’t be considered helpful by any stretch of imagination.”
According to the MP for North Tongu, the government should explore bilateral partnerships with countries already on the ground with superior logistics and advanced escape mechanisms.
He noted that this is imperative as “Ghana does not have a resident diplomatic mission in Ukraine and our oversight embassy in Berne, Switzerland has practical challenges.”
“The National Union of Ghana Students in Ukraine informs me they have 959 registered members —that is a significant number that must command our special and urgent attention. There are in addition to our students, some estimated 500 Ghanaians in Ukraine.”
“With escalating hostilities and indications that a catastrophic deterioration appears inevitable, it is now expedient for the Ghanaian government to quickly intervene to save Ghanaian lives,” he added.
Taking such an initiative, he said will ensure that Ghanaian nationals in harm’s way are whisked to safety.
Government through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Thursday noted that it is engaging Ukrainian authorities to ensure the safety of Ghanaians.
But government in the meantime has asked the over 1,000 students and other Ghanaians to seek help at government places of shelter, because it is gravely concerned about the security and safety of Ghanaians following reports of tensions and violent clashes.
“The Ghana Diplomatic Mission in Berne, Switzerland has urged all Ghanaian nationals in Ukraine to limit their movements in public places as they obtain essential goods, and to remain in their homes or move to government places of shelter,” a part of the statement read.
Meanwhile, the leadership of Ghanaian students in Ukraine have set plans in motion to transport their members to Poland for safety.
The President of National Union of Ghana Students (NUGS) in Ternopil City, Richard Ofori, said Ghanaian students in the region, numbering about 250, are expected to be safely evacuated by Tuesday.
“Buses have been booked for tomorrow (Saturday) and Tuesday to transport students to Poland, about 200 to 250 Ghanaian students. We had to make the decision ourselves,” Richard said.
On the other hand, Mr. Okudzeto Ablakwa has stated that his thoughts and prayers are with Ghanaian students and all other Ghanaians resident in Ukraine.