Metro  

Kidnapped British missionary dies, three others regain freedom

Ian Squire


• UK commends security forces on release of hostages
• Police nab man for allegedly killing wife with machete in Bayelsa
• Oba of Benin mulls security summit to checkmate crime in Edo

A British optician and missionary, Ian Squire, who was abducted three weeks ago, along with three others, has been reported dead. The three others got released and have been reunited with their families.

Four missionaries; David and Shirley Donovan, Alanna Carson and the deceased Squire, all of whom were on a missionary operation to communities in the Ijaw areas, got kidnapped from Enekorogha Creek community in Burutu council area of Delta State on October 13, 2017.

However, Squire was reportedly killed under unexplained circumstances while in his kidnappers’ den. When reached for comments, the spokesman of the Delta State police command, Andrew Aniamaka, said he was yet to get any information to the effect, promising to come out with confirmation whenever he gets one.

The British Embassy in Abuja yesterday said the families of the four British nationals kidnapped three weeks ago are grateful to the British High Commission and the Nigerian authorities for negotiating their release.

In a statement, the families said: “We are grateful for the support received by the British High Commission and help from the Nigerian authorities in negotiating their release. We are delighted and relieved that Alanna, David and Shirley have returned home safely. Our thoughts are now with the family and friends of Ian as we come to terms with his sad death.

“The incident has been traumatic for our loved ones who were kidnapped and for their families and friends here in the U.K. We would therefore ask that the media respect our privacy as we come to terms with the news. We will not be making any further comment,” a statement by Louis Edwards, 2nd Secretary Political (Niger Delta) and Head of Communications at the British High Commission, said.

A local chief, Theo Fakama from Enukorowa community, at the time of their kidnap, said that the community was saddened by the incident, as the victims had brought succour to the area in the past three years.

Squire, 56, an optician from Shepperton in Surrey, had previously visited Nigeria three times to carry out work for his self-founded charity, Mission for Vision, which makes annual trips to remote regions of Africa to carry out “comprehensive eye care programmes”.

Squire had been travelling to Nigeria since 2013 when he joined forces with the Donovans’ New Foundations, a Christian health charity. During that first mission, it set up an eye clinic with facilities for sight testing, dispensing and spectacle glazing.

Meanwhile, the police in Bayelsa State have arrested a 24-year-old man, Vincent Edwin, for allegedly killing his wife, Joy Michael, aged 21, with a machete at Boro Camp, Kaima, in Kolokuma/Opukuma local government area of the state. The incident, which happened on Sunday morning, threw the sleepy community into tension.

The deceased, was said to have gone fishing in a nearby bush with her neighbour, Juliet Philip, when the husband attacked and killed her with a matchete.
Confirming the incident, spokesman of the state police command, Asnim Butswat, said the suspect has been arrested and he has confessed to the crime, but investigation is ongoing to ascertain the motive behind the murder.

In another development, the Benin monarch Omo N’Oba N’Edo Uku-Akpolokpolo, Oba Ewuare II, has said the Benin traditional palace has concluded arrangement to host a security summit in the state to address issues of crime and criminality.

The submit according the monarch became imperative to develop a workable template that would tackle the menace of dreaded inhuman activities of suspected cattle herdsmen, kidnapping, armed robbery and other social crime that have bedeviled the state in recent times.

Speaking during a visit by the new Commissioner of Police, Johnson Babatunde Kokumo, to his palace in Benin City, Oba Ewuare said the proposed submit was a follow up to the earlier summit held over a year ago to consolidate on progress made and address the grey areas in the security blueprint developed to effectively curb the current wave of crimes in the state.Kokumo pledged his readiness to combat crime and reduce corruption among policemen to the minimum in the state.

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Ian Squire


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