UN Says Only 3 Of Released Abductees Are Aid Workers
The United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria, Edward Kallon, has disclosed that only three of the five persons set free by Boko Haram terrorists on Wednesday, January 15, are aid workers said.
Kallon, who heads the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in Nigeria, made the disclosure on Wednesday when he reacted to the release of the abducted persons who were abducted on December 22, 2019.
Kallon said the release and guaranteed safety of some civilians, including three aid workers, who were abducted by insurgents last year gave him massive respite.
“The whole humanitarian community in Nigeria shares the joy of the families, friends, and colleagues of these aid workers, who can now put to rest the unimaginable anxiety of missing their loved ones, ” Mr Kallon said in a statement.
“These dedicated humanitarians were working to provide life-saving support to millions of Nigeria’s most vulnerable in north-eastern Borno State. They should never have been a target, or have to endure the trauma of being held captive.”
Mr Kallon said despite the “encouraging news”, he was worried about the fate of the other civilians abducted in that incident.
“I also remain gravely concerned for the lives of our ACF colleague Grace Taku, abducted near Damasak in July 2019, and Alice Loksha, a nurse and a mother, abducted during an attack in Rann in March 2018. Both are still held captive by non-state armed groups.”
He said “the United Nations and its humanitarian partners call for their immediate and safe release.”
When the news of the five released abductees broke, last night, it was initially gathered that two of them were staffers of IOM and Red.
These claims were, in the same report, disputed by IOM and Red Cross, who said that none of their staffers was abducted in the said incident.
By the same token, report by PREMIUM TIMES has cleared the air on the confusion about the identity of the remaining two abductees.
It reports that the two other civilians were private security officials working as consultants for some NGOs, an impeccable security source in the know told the newspaper.
According to the source quoted by the newspaper on Thursday, the two men had to disguise as a humanitarian worker and claim to be working for IOM and Red Cross, so that the terrorists would spare their lives.
“It has been the tradition of Boko Haram not to spare the life of any security worker be them from the military, police or private security guards,” the source was quoted to have said.
“They don’t have mercy on security operatives. They don’t even welcome any ransom payment, even if it was generously offered. They kill them at once.
“That was the reason why the two men had to lie that they were staff of the NGOs they mentioned because that relatively guarantees the safety of their lives.”