Moscow Concert Hall Attack: Fani-Kayode, Pantami Say Russia is Not Alone

As the Russian Republic continues to mourn the killing of its citizens in an attack on Moscow concert hall, some prominent Nigerians including a former Aviation Minister, Femi Fani-Kayode and the immediate past Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami paid a condolence visit on Russian Embassy in Nigeria with a message that the European country is not alone.

With Fani-Kayode and Pantami on the visit were a former Federal Commissioner,  National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons, Senator Basheer Mohammed; Senator Mohammed Hassan who represented Yobe South Senatorial District, a former Member of the House of Representatives, Hon Farouk Aliyu, and the Campaign Spokesperson for President Bola Ahmed Tinubu in the Eastern part of the country during the 2023 presidential  election, Joseph Onoh.

In his remarks, Fani-Kayode expressed condolences to the Russian Federation over the attack, assuring the Russian Federation envoy, Alexey Shebarshin, that Russian is not alone in its difficult moments.

Fani-Kayode said: “It saddens our hearts that such a terrible thing could have happened at this time in our history in your country.

“As you said earlier, we suffer from similar atrocities here in the recent past. And we join our faith with you and we also reach out to you with our hearts to commiserate with you and express our condolences on behalf of millions of Nigerian people and we stand with you from beginning to end; we acknowledge the critical role that you have played in the development of our country in terms of collaboration and we need to do far more.

“We want you to be rest assured that at this difficult time and indeed, over the months and years, Russia is not alone and has not been alone. You have many, many friends here in Nigeria. As you can see, people that came here today are not just ordinary people; these are people of high calibre and they represent millions of others and we thought it was appropriate to come and express our solidarity with you.

“We believe strongly that those that were behind this, those we know already that the Russian security services have so quickly brought to book and have caught outside of those ones that have been caught, we believe strongly that we have every faith in your system that you will get to the bottom of it and know those who were really behind it.”

Fani-Kayode further told the Russian envoy that it was not just those that the Russian Federation sees that it has to respond to and brings to justice, but even those that were behind the attack needed to be identified and opposed.

He said: “And in that quest, in the advocacy of that position, we stand with you 100 percent. Not just Nigeria, if you look around the African continent, you have many, many friends and I am proud to say that I am a friend of Russia and all of us seated here, friends of Russia, we stand with you at this difficult time.

“May the souls of those who passed, rest in peace. And may God bless the President of Russia, may God bless Russia, may God be with us all,” Fani-Kayode said.

Also speaking, Pantami conveyed the heartfelt condolences of the delegation to the President and good people of Russia over the tragedy.

He said: “We stand by you, we stand by humanity, we stand always for peace, we stand for justice and we do hope that this is the last calamity that will happen in the country and we will continue to pray for your country, for our country and also for peace, stability and prosperity all over the world.

“What happened is condemnable. No any responsible person irrespective of religion, tribe or geographical location will support it. It is a clear indication of humans' inhumanity to humans and it stands condemnable. And we will continue to be with you to support you, to encourage you to overcome the challenge and we have witnessed so many support of Russia in Nigeria and in other African countries. Your country remains a good friend of Nigeria and other African countries. So, whatever happens to you, it happens to us as whatever happens to us also happens to you.

“Once again, accept our heartfelt condolences and we will continue to pray for you and wish you all the best,” Pantami said.

Speaking earlier, Shebarshin said the attack was the will of God, saying “it happened to us, it happened to you before as many places which have been joined.”

Shebarshin expressed the appreciation of the Russian Federation to its Nigerian friends, particularly President Bola Tinubu; the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Yusuf Tuggar and other government officials who expressed condolences over the unfortunate development.

He however said Russia would overcome this.

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