Boko Haram: Buhari, UN condemn killing of four aid workers

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President Muhammadu Buhari and the United Nations Office or the Coordination of Humanitarian affairs (UNICA) in Nigeria have condemned the alleged execution of four aid workers by terrorists in North-eastern Nigeria.

Buhari said that the defeat of evil by good is inevitable, no matter the pyrrhic victory evildoers seem to win.

The President disclosed this in a statement by Femi Adeshina, Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the President, in Abuja on Saturday.

He expressed sadness over the development and commiserated with the family and loved ones of the aid workers.

The ISWAP faction of Boko Haram on Friday shared a gory video recording that detailed the execution of four out of the five abductees that remained in their captivity.

The aid workers were staff of Action Against Hunger (AAH) working in the region to provide humanitarian assistance. They had been abducted near Damasak, Borno State in July and had been held by the insurgents in spite of efforts to secure their release.

The murder of the four aid workers has brought the number of the abducted humanitarian workers slain by Boko Haram to five this year. This leaves only Grace Taku, a female humanitarian worker of the AAH, in Boko Haram custody. Her captors have now declared her their “slave.”

“Evil will always be defeated by good at the end of the day. Whatever seeming victory evil records, eventually rebounds on the evildoer.

“We are resolved to beat evil in this land, and we remain unrelenting till we achieve it,” the President said.

He urged all insurgents to lay down their arms and rejoin decent humanity.

The UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria, Edward Kallon, in a statement condemned “the announced execution of four aid workers by armed groups in Nigeria’s northeastern Borno State on 13 December, according to a statement released Friday night.”

Kallon pleaded that Taku should be released at once.

UN Humanitarian Coordinator said he was “deeply saddened and outraged by the news of the tragic killing of four aid workers who were held captive by armed groups for almost five months.

“My thoughts go to their families, friends, and colleagues who are enduring unspeakable pain and hardship,” the UNOCHA statement quoted him.

He said the four men were amongst the six aid workers who were abducted when their convoy came under attack near Damasak, in Mobbar LGA.

“They were working on a health project implemented by the INGO Action Against Hunger. One of the drivers was killed during the attack and another was reportedly executed on 24 September 2019.”

Kallon maintained calls for the release of other humanitarian workers still in captivity.

“I plead for the immediate release of Grace Taku, the only woman who was in the ACF team, and whose whereabouts remain unknown,” he said.

“I also call for the immediate release of Alice Loksha, a nurse and a mother, who was abducted during an attack in Rann in March 2018.”

He described December 13 as “another sad day for the people of Nigeria and the humanitarian community supporting them.

“These colleagues were devoting their lives to helping the most vulnerable communities in Borno State. Despite the risks, they were driven by the values of solidarity and humanity.”

He said the United Nations and NGO partners in Nigeria are working to bring vital assistance to over seven million people in the crisis-affected states of Borno, Adamawa, and Yobe.

“They are increasingly the target of violent attacks. Seven aid workers have been killed since the beginning of the year, amongst 26 UN and NGO workers have lost their lives in the conflict since 2011.

“Violence against humanitarian actors jeopardizes access to much-needed assistance for people affected by the armed conflict,” stressed the Humanitarian Coordinator.

“I renew the call for all armed actors to respect the principles of humanity, neutrality, independence, and impartiality which guide humanitarian assistance, and to ensure the protection of aid workers.”

“The armed group responsible for kidnapping six humanitarian workers in northeast Nigeria on July 18, 2019, today claimed that they have executed four hostages. This brings the number of fatalities to five. We extend our deepest sympathies to their loved ones and our colleagues in Nigeria.”

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