The Oasis Reporters
January 17, 2020
The reported release of five Aid workers captured by Boko Haram has been received by the human rights community with great joy, according to a received statement by Barrister Emma Ogebe, on behalf of the human rights community in the diaspora and within the country.
The report says that “since Nigeria holds a record for high lethality with respect to Aid workers, this would be an unprecedented development in consonance with international law and conventions regarding exemption of Aid workers from military hostilities as internationally protected persons.
Boko Haram has never shown any regard for international or domestic law so even if this was acquired via ransom, it is a salutary development for these innocent souls to be spared.
We wish to point out a concern however that this does not appear consistent with past actions of the terrorist group who have enslaved Christian female and killed Christian male hostages as the case of heroic Schoolgirl Leah Sharibu and UNICEF nurse Alice Ngaddah illustrated in the former category.
We urge the DSS who facilitated the purported rescue of the recently captured Aid workers to similarly secure the release of Leah and Alice.
This is more so because the DSS was able to secure the release of all the abducted Muslim Dapchi schoolgirls except for Leah who is a Christian. Yet next month will be two years since Leah was abducted..
While commending the government for the controversial rescue, we would like the Government to explain how it managed to achieve this yet again but only after dozens of hostages were executed over the past year and a half.
We also want the government to clarify who the real abductors were.
This is necessary because as with the Dapchi Schoolgirl mass abductions, there are some who feel it was a scripted operation in view of the burgeoning kidnap for foreign currency industry.
Secondly, we recently alerted the nation to the new phenomenon of Fulani Herdsmen kidnappers now operating in the northeast also.
In our 10th year of exclusively working on the Nigerian genocide, we thought that we could no longer be shocked by anything.
Boko Haram/ISWA are now collaborating closely with the Fulani Herdsmen. Last week we were informed of the abduction of Christian women in northeast Nigeria. This weekend they were released. It was the fastest hostage turn around ever at one week.
Our findings were shocking.
In addition, a Christian lady was separated from her ailing mother whom she was taking to hospital during the ambush. Her sick mother was set free to go with the Muslims traveling in the same taxi.
The Fulani kidnappers then asked the woman for a ransom or they would be SOLD TO BOKO HARAM.
The kidnappers negotiated directly by phone with the family of the woman who now had to sell and borrow to pay her ransom!
Boko Haram has either opened up a kidnap retail franchise with the Fulani Herdsmen or has brought them in as consultant contractors to circumvent the government and go directly to churches for ransoms. The Fulani kidnap syndicate has a very effective kidnap model across the rest of Nigeria.
Unfortunately this now unravels a new dimension to the terrorism. In a recent video, we not that BH asks hostages appealing to Christians to pay ransoms but Christians latter lack the capacity and mechanism to do so. BH’s outsourcing to the Fulani Herdsmen resolves the mechanism quandary as they latter have effectively fleeced over 300 million naira in ransoms from Churches in Kaduna State alone according to the state CAN.
Some time ago, we got a tip off that a caller had contacted abducted Dr Zakka’s family saying they were not Boko Haram and wanted a ransom. After reviewing the methodology of his capture – stop and search for Christians and identification by a Bible in his bag – we assumed that he was indeed taken by BH and the caller must be an impostor or copy cat.
Shortly after, the professor of Bible studies, Dr Zakka was featured in a Boko Haram proof of life video. It is possible he was sold to Boko Haram afterwards.
The case of the kidnapped ladies shows that the Herdsmen use the same tactics as Boko Haram. It appears they catch and release for ransom “inconsequential” captives like these single Christian women and then sell the high value targets to Boko Haram!
We therefore call on the authorities to investigate and eliminate this new dangerous vice of “kidnap consultants” or “terrorist subcontractors” operated by Fulani Herdsmen.
We urge also that the government clarifies how it freed the hostages and how it intends to free others so that Leah and company can be liberated before their second year anniversary.
The prompt release of the Aid workers, said to include recently abducted nurse Jennifer Ukambong, would be the second fastest turn around and this is welcome if it can be replicated across the board for all hostages.