Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM) on Saturday, announced that two Nigerian Male Table Tennis players identified as Abia Uchenna and Eboh Chinedu, have returned home.
The two Tenis players who are said to be students of the Federal University of Technology Owerri (FUTO) have returned to Nigeria after they were held hostage in Bosnia-Herzegovina refugee camp in Croatia.
According to the duo, they arrived in Croatia on Nov. 12, to participate in the fifth World Inter Universities Championship. They had visas granting them the right to stay until Nov. 18, 2019. After the tournament, they left the City of Pula for the Country’s Capital, Zagreb, where they were scheduled to fly back to Lagos on November 18th before they were apprehended.
“The night before our departure, on Nov. 17, we checked out from the hostel and went for a walk in Zagreb,” Chinedu said in an interview
“Suddenly, we were stopped by the police who asked us for our identification documents.
“We tried to explain that our passports were in the hostel and that we had a regular visa, but they paid no attention to what we were saying.
“The officers allegedly mistook us for undocumented immigrants, they put us in a van and we were transferred to the border at Bosnia and Herzegovina that day, where Croatian authorities had gathered a group of other migrants who were intercepted as they were attempting to cross the country.”
After narrating their unfortunate experiences in the hands of Croatia authorities, the two students showered praises on the Chairman NIDCOM, Mrs Abike Dabiri-Erewa.
”First of all, we want to thank NIDCOM for the kind gesture they have shown us and the citizens of this great country Nigeria when we were passing through the challenges out in the foreign land.
“We want to thank especially Mama Diaspora in the person of Mrs Abike Dabiri-Erewa.
”She is indeed a mother – someone that Nigerians in the diaspora could depend on.
“The way she spoke to us on the telephone from Nigeria when we were in camp in Bosnia was very encouraging,
”We cannot thank her enough, she provided hotel accommodation and feeding when we arrived here in Abuja,” They said.
The two students were officially received on Friday night, Dec 20th, by the Secretary of the commission, Mr Sule Bassi, who came on behalf of the Chairman/CEO of NIDCOM, Mrs Abike Dabiri-Erewa.