THE Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP), one of the two Boko Haram factions operating in Nigeria, has abducted an aid worker and a policeman in Borno State, Northeast Nigeria, The ICIR has learnt.
One of the kidnapped persons was said to be on the staff of the Nigerian Red Cross but Chima Nwankwo, Head of Communications at the humanitarian organisation denied it , saying no worker in the agency was abducted. He disclosed, however, that staff of a “side organisation” was kidnapped but he did not mention its name.
The two separate incidents happened on December 2 at Kareto, a village about 80 kilometres from Damasak, headquarters of Mobbar Local Government Area. They were taken away when the vehicles they were traveling in were stopped a checkpoint mounted by the insurgents.
According to eyewitnesses, ISWAP fighters had mounted a checkpoint the previous day and stood there observing vehicles and passengers passing by before returning the following day with some pictures. They compared the pictures with passengers in all the vehicles they stopped, an indication that they were looking for specific individuals.
“They finally found one passenger who matched one of the pictures. When they told him that he was a staff of Red Cross, he denied, so they brought another picture of him in a Nigerian Red Cross uniform. At that point, he did not say a word. So, they went away with him,” an eyewitness told The ICIR.
Later that day, they stopped another vehicle and identified a passenger they said was a Nigerian Police Force personnel. The man denied being a policeman but they told him they recognised him at the Damasak police division and went away with him.