Omololu Ogunmade in Abuja
The presidency last night in Abuja described the trending video showing some humanitarian aid workers being held captive by insurgents as disturbing, saying it had been told that contacts were already being made with their abductors.
In the video, a woman in hijab, who gave her name as Grace, was seen with five other men, whom she said were her colleagues in Action Against Hunger, rendering humanitarian services in the North-east before they were captured.
The woman, who described herself as the only Christian among the six, said they were at the verge of being killed and pleaded with the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) and the presidency to come to their rescue.
She recalled that two humanitarian aid workers were killed by their abductors last year because the government failed to come to their rescue, pleading that she wouldn’t want to suffer similar fate.
Most shocking was her claim that Leah Sharibu, the lone Christian Dapchi schoolgirl who was held back by Boko Haram when her peers were released last year had also been killed, because the government failed to intervene.
Responding to the distress call last night, presidential spokesman, Malam Garba Shehu, in a statement, described the video as disturbing, saying presidency had been told that contacts were being made with the abductors.
According to him, whereas discussions had been ongoing about other abductees, the release of the video had further brought a sense of urgency into the matter.
“The presidency has been briefed by responsible government agency on a disturbing video showing some Nigerian humanitarian aid workers held captive.
“Presidency has been given assurances that contact is being made and the captors are being talked to.
“Beside these aid workers, there are some others about whom this engagement is about-Leah Sharibu, a religious leader and all the others.
“These discussions have been ongoing even before this time and what this latest incident has done is to bring urgency to the efforts that the secret service is making.
“Government is making contacts, in the hope that the captors will see reason to not visit hardship or even harm on these innocent individuals. Government is working,” the statement added.