Three aid workers and some residents abducted by insurgents by suspected members of the Boko Haram terrorist group have regained their freedom.
Although the number of residents freed has yet to be ascertained, the insurgents released the victims on Wednesday.
The kidnapped persons were released by their abductors about three weeks after they were abducted along the Monguno-Maiduguri Road in Borno State.
The United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria, Mr. Edward Kallon, confirmed the release in a statement forwarded to Channels Television on Thursday.
He said, “I am deeply relieved that some civilians, including three aid workers, who were abducted by non-state armed groups along the Monguno – Maiduguri road on 22 December 2019 have been released yesterday and are now safe.”
“The whole humanitarian community in Nigeria shares the joy of the families, friends, and colleagues of these aid workers, who can now put to rest the unimaginable anxiety of missing their loved ones,” the UN envoy added.
He described the freed aid workers as dedicated humanitarians making efforts to provide life-saving support to millions of Nigeria’s “most vulnerable” in north-eastern Borno State.
“They should never have been a target or have to endure the trauma of being held captive,” Kallon decried.
Although he welcomed the release of the three aid workers, the humanitarian coordinator was worried about the fate of the others abducted in the incident.
He was also concerned for the lives of two other aid workers – Grace Taku who was abducted near Damasak in July 2019, as well as Alice Loksha, a nurse and a mother who has been held captive since March 2018 following an attack in Rann.
“Both are still held captive by non-state armed groups. The United Nations and its humanitarian partners call for their immediate and safe release,” said Kallon.