FORMER Vice President Abubakar Atiku and Senate President, Bukola Saraki, have condemned the killing of a British citizen, Faye Mooney, alongside her Nigerian companion, Mathew Oguche, by unknown gunmen in Kaduna State on Friday.
Mooney was an aid worker with the Mercy Corps, a non-governmental organisation, while Oguche was a staff member of Safety Organisation, another international NGO. They were killed at the Kajuru Castle, a luxury tourist site in Kaduna State, where they were holidaying, having travelled from Lagos.
Unknown gunmen were reported to have attacked the location at about 11 pm on Friday, killing the two and abducting three other.
Atiku described the incident as sad and “atrocious”, stating that the death of any foreign national on Nigerian soil further dents the country’s international image and scares investors away.
“These killings must end or Nigeria will lose desperately needed friends, partners and investors,” Channels Television quoted Atiku as saying on Monday.
“I want the government and people of the United Kingdom to know that these atrocious actions do not reflect Nigeria’s national character.
“Not only do I condemn this recent killing, but I make an urgent call for the federal and state authorities to track down the culprits and make them pay for their crimes.
Atiku, who was the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2019 presidential election, also seized the opportunity to aim subtle jibes at the present administration for the high level of insecurity in the country.
“The time for empty rhetoric is long gone. Now is the time for urgent national action to stem insecurity,” he said.
“Nigeria must once again become synonymous with peace, progress and prosperity. This can only happen when crime and punishment are a natural cause and effect.
“As long as there is impunity, our nation will lack unity and security. Impunity must end and must end in earnest. These crimes continue to reoccur because previous killings have not been met with justice.
“We need to keep Nigeria safe for Nigerians and foreigners. The death of any Nigerian or foreigner from terror, crime or insecurity grieves my heart. Nobody’s life is worth taking to advance a religious, political or criminal cause.”
On the other hand, Saraki posted a condolence message via his Twitter handle on Monday, sympathising with the government of Britain as well as the family of the deceased persons.
It is my fervent hope that our security officials do everything in their power to rescue those that were abducted in Friday’s attack —so that they can be reunited with their loved ones as soon as possible.
— Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki (@bukolasaraki) April 22, 2019
Kaduna, Zamfara and some other states in the North West geopolitical zone have been in the news for some time now due to the several incidences of violent crimes happening almost unchecked in the areas, including kidnappings, cattle rustling, ethnic clashes, and herdsmen/farmer conflicts.
In his Easter message to Nigerians, President Muhammadu Buhari admitted that Nigeria “is currently gripped with gloom over unfortunate killings, kidnappings and violence, as seen in the recent tragic incidents in some states of the federation.”
He urged Nigerians not to allow “the few bad elements in our communities to put asunder our communal tendencies and chords of unity.
“This administration will do all it takes to adequately equip and motivate our armed forces and other law enforcement agencies to enable them successfully confront these security challenges. We will not allow merchants of evil and death to overwhelm the nation. Under my watch, the nation will triumph over them – terrorists, bandits, kidnappers and the like.”