Nigeria: Presidency Reacts to Boko Haram Video of Kidnapped Aid Workers

Screenshot of the aid workers.

The presidency has reacted to a Boko Haram video showing six kidnapped aid workers.

The aid workers were kidnapped last week Thursday.

PREMIUM TIMES reported the video which shows the six humanitarian workers and staff of Action Against Hunger (ACF) begging the Nigerian government "to do something" about their release.

The three minutes and 17 seconds video featured a veiled female nurse who identified herself as Grace speaking on behalf of five other abducted men sitting behind her.

ACF has issued a statement confirming the six persons shown in the video as their staff. The ACF also said that the six, from their looks in the video, are in good condition of health.

The six were seen in the video sitting in front of what looked like a white tent with UNHCR inscription on it.

In its reaction, the presidency said it "has been briefed by the responsible government agency about the disturbing video showing our citizens, the humanitarian aid workers held captive."

"Presidency has been given assurances that contact is being made and the captors are being talked to.

"Besides 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," Garba Shehu, President Muhammadu Buhari's spokesperson, said in a statement.

The Video

Only one of the victims who identified herself as Grace spoke in the video. The full transcription of the video reads:

"My name is Grace, I work with Action Against Hunger an NGO in Borno state. My base is Damasak. We went to work on Thursday the 18th of July 2019 outside Damasak.

"On our way going back to Damasak, by Kinnari Chamba ward in Damasak we were caught by this army called the Khalifa. They brought us here and actually we don't know where we are. But this minute, this moment I want to beg on my Christian Association of Nigeria because I am the only Christian amongst six of us here.

"I want to beg that CAN should do something about me to see how I can be released. I also want to beg Action Against Hunger in Borno State that we are six here and all of us are staffs, we went to work on our way coming back to our base that was when we were caught. I beg Action Against Hunger to know that we have families, some of us have children and I am begging Action Against Hunger that they should do something to release us.

"I also want to call on Nigeria that we are Nigerians; we are also working for Nigeria. I beg that the Nigerian government should please, and please, I am begging; do something to see that we are released because this has occurred before to this organisation, RED CROSS where some ladies were caught, Hauwa and Kabura there were told to ask to be released but because Nigeria did not act they were killed.

"I am begging on behalf of all of us here that please Nigeria should not allow such to happen to us. And it also happened again with Leah and Alice - because Nigeria could not do anything about them they were not released; they were also killed. I beg that Nigeria and our organisation Action Against Hunger should do something and see that we are released. Thank you."

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