The Ijaw Youth Council (Worldwide) on Tuesday condemned the kidnapping and consequent killing of a 57-year old British aid worker in the Niger Delta, Ian Squire, with a promise to collaborate with security agencies to get the perpetrators.
The Guardian of London had reported last month how he was shot dead after singing the popular Christian hymn,Amazing Grace
Fellow missionaries described how Ian Squire was gunned down in front of group by men who had kidnapped them in Delta state
The Guardian story reads further “A British charity worker kidnapped and held to ransom in Nigeria was shot dead moments after singing Amazing Grace to a group of missionary medics, it has emerged.
“The final moments of the life of Ian Squire were described by his fellow Christian missionaries David and Shirley Donovan, who were held alongside Squire and Alanna Carson after being abducted in the southern Delta state.
“Donovan told the Daily Telegraph how the group’s spirits were lifted when the kidnappers returned a guitar and Squire started to play Amazing Grace.
‘“It was the perfect song, and at that point things began to look not quite as bad,” he said. “But then, after Ian finished playing, he stood up, and a salvo of gunshots killed him instantly. We didn’t see who did it, but it was obvious that someone in the gang had shot him. It was terrifying to see.
‘“We jumped out of the shack and into the water as we thought they were coming for us next, but a member of the gang came and put us back in there with Ian for the rest of the day.”
“Donovan, 57, and his 58-year-old wife started the medical charity New Foundations in 2003. They said it was their Christian faith that kept them going after early setbacks including severe illness and thefts.
“During their kidnapping, the group kept their spirits up by playing a version of the BBC Radio 4 quiz The Unbelievable Truth, where contestants have to tell fact from fiction, with Shirley Donovan saying the game was “prosaic but comforting”.
“The captives were freed after the kidnappers told them a ransom had been paid. Donovan said the smell of the leather and air conditioning in the two SUVs that came to pick them up “was like stepping from one world into another”.'”
Meantime, the Secretary General of IYC, Alfred Kemepado, stated during a condolence visit to the British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Paul Arkwright in Abuja that those behind the crime are enemies of the development of the Niger Delta and should be fished out to face the justice.
According to him, the people of the Niger Delta have been a peace loving people who would not condone such heinous acts against innocent people.
He said that the IYC would carry out a campaign in Ijaw communities as part of the efforts to ensure that such crimes are not repeated in the area.
Kemepado said, “We are set for a campaign in our communities to ensure this doesn’t repeat itself, not to a British or any other nationality. The Ijaw people don’t condone crime, we are a good and hospitable people and always ready to host developmental partners and their interests. We are set for a campaign in our communities to ensure this doesn’t repeat itself, not to a British or any other nationality.”
The IYC scribe who appealed to the British Government not to use the isolated incident to judge the Ijaw people also urged communities leaders in the area to ensure that their communities are not used to perpetrate crime.