By Abdulkareem Haruna (Courtesy of Premium Times)
Suspected members of the extremist Boko Haram sect have shot dead five persons believed to be humanitarian workers.
The terrorist group publicized the development via a viral video it published on social media Wednesday.
The gunmen who carried out the killing said their victims were aid workers working for nongovernmental organisations.
The 35 seconds video featured five hooded armed men standing behind five abductees who were kneeling before them.
An unidentified voice speaking in Hausa said, “this is a message to the infidels who are using you to cheat and turn our people into unbelievers. You should know that your employers are just using you to achieve their aims, but they don’t care about you. That’s why whenever we abduct you, they don’t care about you.
“Our advice for you is that you should repent and turn to God, or else we shall continue to waylay and abduct you all in all the routes that you traverse.
“And if you don’t heed to our warning, what is about to happen to these five aid workers would also be fate that will befall you too.”
At the end of the speech, one of the gunmen ordered them to fire the abducted aid workers.
The gunmen summarily shot at the five men whose faces were all blinded.
PREMIUM TIMES was unable to immediately determine the identities of the five executed aid workers.
The Nigerian government did not also immediately comment on the development.
The Nigerian presidency later in a statement identified the aid workers to be those of the State Emergency Management Agency, Action Against Hunger, Rich International, and International Rescue Committee who were abducted a month ago.
President Muhammadu Buhari condemned the murder of the humanitarian workers, pledging that his administration would implement measures to prevent a reoccurence of such tragedy.
The statement signed by Garba Shehu, the senior special assistant to the President on media and publicity, further quoted Mr Buhari as sympathising “with the families of the five aid workers, while praying that God will comfort them for their irreplaceable loss.
“He assures them that his government will continue to do all it can to ensure that every remaining vestige of Boko Haram is wiped out completely from northeastern Nigeria and that the perpetrators of this atrocity face the law.
“President Buhari also condoles with the State Emergency Management Agency, Action Against Hunger, Rich International, and International Rescue Committee, whose staff have suffered this gruesome fate.
“He thanks them for their continued dedication and service to the victims of Boko Haram in northeastern Nigeria. He assures them that security agencies in the state will work closely with their organisations to implement measures to ensure that no such kidnapping of staff occurs again.”