Kaduna’s Deteriorating Insecurity Claims British, Nigerian Humanitarian Workers
A Briton, Faye Mooney and a Nigerian, Matthew Oguche fell to the bullets of bandits in Kajuru, Kaduna State on Friday, 19th April 2019. They were among tourists at a Kaduna State Castle resort spending the Easter holidays. Bandits stormed the resort site, shooting and killing Mooney, Oguche and taking three others into custody. Mooney worked for an international humanitarian agency, Mercy Corps which has extensive humanitarian operations in North East Nigeria, while Oguche worked for International NGO Safety Organisation (INSO). Mercy Corps has also been in the eye of the storm with security officials in Nigeria, who have in recent times been putting a lot of pressure against it.
The bandits who attacked the Kajuru tourist site and seized three other victims during the attack are also reported to be demanding payment of N60 million ransom for their release. A statement issued by Mooney’s employer, Mercy Corps described Mooney as a dedicated and passionate communications and learning specialist, devoting her time to making a difference in Nigeria and leading efforts to counter hate speech and violence.” The United Nations Humanitarian Co-ordinator in Nigeria, Edward Kallon expressed his sympathies to the families, colleagues and friends of the aid workers, who he said had been selflessly committed to humanitarian work in Nigeria.
The Easter holiday saw a number of tragic incidents in the country leading to loss of lives. In North Central Benue State, unidentified gunmen attacked and killed about eleven worshippers returning from a Good Friday Church service in Katsina-Ala Local Government Area of the State. The incident has been described as part of the communal crisis which has lingered in the State for some time. This was followed by another gruesome attack by suspected herdsmen, which claimed the lives of more than fifteen worshippers, including two Catholic priests returning from an early morning mass in Mbalon community of Gwer LGA on Tuesday, 23rd April 2019. In Gombe State, ten persons, mostly members of a Boys’ Brigade group on an Easter celebration procession were killed by a car driven by an officer of the National Security and Civil Defence Corps at Alheri junction along Biu Road in Gombe metropolis. There was yet another death of a Nigerian man who was caught in the gunfire of Policemen who were said to have opened fire at a bus stop along Lagos-Abeokuta Expressway on Easter Sunday, adding to the list of extra-judicial killings by security operatives across the country, in recent times. These attacks are indicative of the soaring level of insecurity in the country.