The aid workers who were seized along with other passengers in two separate incidents in December 2019 when a sect of ISWAP that disguised as soldiers intercepted vehicles on highways outside the Borno state capital of Maiduguri.
The sect split from the Boko Haram jihadist group in the year 2016, the sect has focused on targeting military installations and troops since the middle of year 2018. Lately, there has been an increase in attacks on civilians blamed on ISWAP. The dread
The dreaded Jihadists in Northeast Nigeria has killed over 40,000 people and displaced over Two Million (2,000,000) from their homes. The violence has spread to the neighbouring countries which includes; Niger, Chad and Cameroon, prompting the formation of a regional military coalition to fight the Islamists.
According to a source “The five aid workers were released… after days of mediated negotiations with ISWAP” on Wednesday 15th January, 2020. The victims of the abduction are local staff of the international humanitarian agencies, providing aid to thousands of people displaced by the violence in the region.
A hygiene specialist with ALIMA (Alliance for International Medical Action), Asabe Musa, a French NGO, is among the five victims that regained freedom.
Below Is The Testimony From The Victim That Spoke On behalf Of Others
We were released by our captors today (Wednesday, 15th January, 2020). Two of us are from ALIMA, one each from Red Cross, Solidarity and IOM (International Office for Migration).
We were first taken to the DSS headquarters before we were handed over to our various agencies,” she told AFP, referring to Nigeria’s domestic intelligence agency.
We are all in good health. I and my colleagues are now at ALIMA office here in Maiduguri where we are staying for the night.
According to the source; the negotiations for the release were initiated by the DSS. There was no update whether ransom was paid for the release of the victims.
A sister of Asabe Musa told our correspondent that her sibling spoke with their mother on the phone from the DSS offices after her release. My sister was allowed to call our mother and confirm her release along with four others.
Asabe Musa was kidnapped along with two others on 22nd December, 2019 on their way to Maiduguri for Christmas from the garrison town of Monguno.
On 4th December, 2020, the dreaded sect claimed the abduction of two Red Cross staff along with 12 other passengers on a separate highway outside the town of Maiduguri.
The group has increasingly been abducting motorists at checkpoints in Borno state, targeting security personnel, anti-jihadist militia as well as Christians.
Edward Kallon, the United Nations (UN) Humanitarian coordinator in Nigeria, said he was “deeply relieved” at the news of the release. However, he said in a statement it was unfortunate that aid workers are being targeted by jihadists in Nigeria.
These dedicated humanitarians were working to provide life-saving support to millions of Nigeria’s most vulnerable in North-eastern Borno State.