Criminal elements believed to be Boko Haram fighters have shot dead five persons said to be humanitarian workers working for Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs).
The terrorist group made a public show of its deadly act via a viral video it published on social media Wednesday.
The 35-second video featured five hooded armed men standing behind five abductees who were kneeling before them.
An unidentified voice speaking in Hausa said: “This is a message to the infidels who are using you to cheat and turn our people into unbelievers. You should know that your employers are just using you to achieve their aims, but they don’t care about you. That’s why whenever we abduct you, they don’t care about you.
“Our advice for you is that you should repent and turn to God, or else we shall continue to waylay and abduct you all in all the routes that you traverse.
“And if you don’t heed to our warning, what is about to happen to these five aid workers would also be fate that will befall you too.”
At the end of the speech, one of the gunmen ordered them to fire the abducted aid workers, after which the victims were fired with their faces blinded.
Buhari condemns act
Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari has condemned the aid workers’ killing.
In a sympathy message to the victims’ families, President Buhari prayed God to comfort them for their irreplaceable loss.
He assured that the present government would continue to do all it can to ensure “every remaining vestige of Boko Haram is wiped out completely from northeastern Nigeria and that the perpetrators of this atrocity face the law.”
The president also condoled with the State Emergency Management Agency, Action Against Hunger, Rich International, and International Rescue Committee, whose staff had suffered this gruesome fate.
He thanked them for their continued dedication and service to the victims of Boko Haram in the north eastern Nigeria.
The president assured them that security agencies in the state would work closely with their organisations to implement measures towards ensuring such kidnapping of staff does not occur again.
Father on kidnapped son
Also, a Kaduna-based father, Mr. Eguaku Anya, has narrated how kidnappers abducted his 15-year-old son, Stephen, killed him and dumped the body inside a shallow well, after receiving N1.5 million ransom from him.
But the prime suspect in the crime, one Joseph Sylvester, who was among the 217 kidnappers and other criminal suspects paraded by the Kaduna state Police Command Wednesday, denied involvement in the acts.
Anya told journalists Wednesday that the kidnappers broke into his house destroying valuable properties and took away their phones, laptop computer while abducting his 15-year-old son.
He said the kidnappers initially demanded for N40 million before they finally agreed on N1 million.
Narrating his ordeal, he said: “On the 27th of May, 2020, this boy (Sylvester) and the other person came into my house and damaged a lot of things. They took away our phones, my laptop, my daughter’s phone and in addition, they abducted my own son in my car and left.
“They were two that came into the house. They even said they will drop my son immediately they leave the house, as I was pleading with them. One of them lives in my area at Gonin Gora. My son was 15 years. My son scored 245 in JAMB he passed WAEC and NECO, only for him to enter school.
“They (kidnappers) stayed for a long time before contacting us and when they collected ransom, they switched off the phone. When they finished the money, they called back and began to demand for another money.
“The first amount they demand was N40 million. So as we negotiated we brought it down to N5 million and again it came down to N1 million. They collected that and said it’s not enough, so we added N500, 000. And all this while, we have been begging them to let us hear the boy’s voice, but as soon as they collected money, they switched off the phone.
“Eventually, they demanded for another N1.5 million and we agreed that we will rally round and get it for them, but on the condition that we hear the boy’s voice and they release him to us, not knowing that they had killed the boy already the following day after the kidnap.
“It was only God that saved me and my brother that went to give them the money; they could as well have killed or abducted us. That was when we went and alerted the anti-kidnapping unit and FCID. This unit worked so hard and it’s very commendable. I have never seen such swift action before. Within three days, they rounded them up.
“Meanwhile, as events were unfolding, I remembered that this boy (Sylvester) used to sit around my house. I will come out and see a boy alone. I never knew the boy was monitoring me, he knows where my dogs are, the time I put on and put off my generating set. He called the other person to accompany him in killing my son.
“They killed him and dumped him in a well-that is the most gruesome way of killing person. Not only that he was killed but in a gruesome way. The effect of that still attacks me every time when I think about what my son could be thinking before he was killed. It is terrible.”
However, while responding to questions from journalists, the prime suspect, Sylvester denied being involved in the crime. “I don’t know anything about the kidnapping. I only kept someone (his accomplice) in my house not knowing he is a kidnapper.
“I stay in Gonin Gora and my residence is close to a company he (the accomplice) said he came to work. He said that he was looking for room and all the apartments in my house were occupied. We searched another place for him to stay and we couldn’t get, that was how he started staying with me. He gave me N7, 000 and stayed with me for three weeks after that, he travelled back for almost up to a year,” he said.
Commenting on the case, the command’s spokesman, ASP Muhammad Jalige said the suspects after killing their victim, dumped his body in a shallow well and threw about 20 building blocks on top of him to weigh his corpse down and prevent it from floating.
Police arrest 217 kidnappers
Meanwhile, the police in Kaduna have arrested 217 suspected kidnappers, bandits, armed robbers, and cattle rustlers among others, while 43 guns, including AK-47 rifles, pistols and others were recovered from the suspects.
The state’s Commissioner of Police, Mr. Umar Muri while parading the suspects at the Command’s headquarters in Kaduna Wednesday, said they were arrested between April 29th and July 22nd, 2020 following review of their security strategies towards ensuring a secured Kaduna state.
He said the security situation in the state had been relatively stabilised in recent times due to the continuous review of the operational strategies of the Command.
This, he said, was in “collaboration with other sister security agencies and robust support and encouragement from the Inspector General of Police, Mohammad Abubakar Adamu, the stewardship of the Kaduna state government in conjunction with the relentless efforts of officers and men of the Command in meeting up with the current challenges on ground.
“I’m delighted to inform you that the Command within the last few weeks, in its onerous task of securing the lives and properties of law abiding citizens of Kaduna state, has succeeded in arresting 217 suspects for various crimes which include; armed banditry, armed robbery, kidnapping, cattle rustling, culpable homicide, rape, shop breaking, theft and other related crimes.
“During investigation, a number of recoveries were made which include the following: seven AK-47 rifles, one type 06 Rifle with breech No. 20900, two locally made pistols, two English made pistols, 22 locally made Dane guns, three revolver pistols, two revolver rifles, one Hammerli pistol with breech No. PT205731, two double barrel Russian made guns and one single barrel gun.
“We also recovered, 1,113 rounds of AK-47 live ammunition, 16 rounds of live cartridges, 26 empty shells of AK-47 rifle, 17 sharp knives/ cutlasses, 11 machetes /swords, one bow and arrow, one drilling machine, 10 big sticks, one scissors. Also recovered were; N93 million eight thousand and seven hundred and eighty three naira and 180,070 Saudi Arabian Riyadh.
“Still within the period under review some local and foreign fake currencies were also recovered as follows: $5.7 million fake US Dollars, 200,000 fake Euro bills, 210,000 fake CFA currency and N2.7 million fake naira notes.
“We equally recovered, two thousand, four hundred bags of Chikun poultry feeds valued at N8, 343,750, 823 25kg bags of rice, 10 motor vehicles, 31 motorcycles, 15 plasma televisions valued at N8,650,000, 833 rustled cows, 20 rustled sheep, 14 mobile cell phones of different brands, nine laptops (Lenovo & Del), six fake police Id cards, two fire extinguishers, 48 sacks of dried leaves suspected to be Indian hemp and assorted charms.”