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Boko Haram: Fate of Five Abducted Aid Workers Hang in the Balance

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Jude Johnson

Five NGO workers captured by the Khalifa Soldiers, part of the Islamic State of West African province, ISWAP group may be killed as others before them, following the policy of non-negotiation for ransom policy by international organisations.

The NGO workers who have been speaking to their offices on videos made available to newsmen said they have been in the custody of the Khalifa Soldiers for close to one month but there has not been any indication from their organisations that they will be rescued.

A few days ago, the terrorists placed a ransom of one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000, which is about forty-three million naira (N43,000,000) each, on the five aid workers abducted between Maiduguri and Monguno, raising fears among families, colleagues and associates that there are likelihoods of them being killed by their abductors if such policy is not change.

The aid workers, Lucas Philibuz with the International Rescue Committee, IRC, Abdulrahman Dungus, with REACH International Initiative, Ishaku Yakubu, with the Action Against Hunger, AAH, Abdulrahman Bulama, a camp manager with state emergency management agency, SEMA and Joseph Prince, a local guard with Halogen security have shown proof of life in a new video released by their abductors.

Speaking with some officials of the NGOs in Maiduguri, Daily Post observed that, there were no collaborations among the NGO’s towards ensuring the release of the aid workers.

One of the NGO officials who pleaded anonymity said in Maiduguri, “You know we NGO have policies guiding our operations, and in a situation like this, all we are doing is to make the insurgents understand our position on ransom negotiation.

We have a policy of no payment for ransom. We hope that their abductors would see reasons and free them on the basis that they are humanitarian workers who are helping people in dire need and not part of the conflict.”

Speaking with residents on the videos of the five NGO workers in circulation, Alhaji Auwal Tahir said that only prayers can free those aid workers.

“I did not see any of these organisations taking over N40 million for ransom for their staff. After all, how much are they paying these staff who are risking their lives on a dangerous voyage to help those in need in unreached locations?. The National staff who are doing the work are receiving peanuts while the so-called expatriates are getting their money in dollars and sitting in big hotels within the city,” he said.

Modu Mustapha, a civil servant recalled the killings of some NGO and UN staff early 2019.

According to him, ” These NGOs will be busy telling people that they are trying to negotiate, but actually, they are not doing anything. The issue is clear and simple and without dragging of foot. They have a policy that is strangling their staff. They are not dealing with rebels in this case but a kind of religious maggots who think differently. I pray these innocent souls regain their freedom.”

Credits| Daily Post

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