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Presidency assures efforts on release of abducted aid workers

THE presidency on Friday said efforts are being made to ensure the release of the six aid workers of the Action Against Hunger (ACF) abducted by suspected Boko Haram militants.

Senior Special Assistant to the president on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu stated this in a series of tweets on his official Twitter handle @GarShehu.

The ACF staff were abducted on their way back from humanitarian fieldwork, at Damasak close to the border with Niger on July 18, 2019.

In a video released on Thursday, the six abducted workers were seen pleading to the Nigerian government for their release, quickly, before the unimaginable happens.

The presidential spokesperson however, said the government was making contacts, in the hope that the captors would have no reason to visit hardship or even harm on the innocent individuals.

He noted there has been engagement on previous cases on abduction, such as that of Leah Sharibu, a religious leader and many others sequel to the abduction of the ACF staff.

Shehu, however, said, that the latest incident had brought urgency to the efforts been made by the secret services.

“Presidency has been given assurances that contact is being made and the captors are being talked to,” he said.

The Paris based humanitarian organisation, ACF  had confirmed that the video released showing a woman and five men were their staff members.

ACF on its part had demanded the release of its staff members, noting that their abduction fully contradicts International Humanitarian Law and internationally recognised standards for the protection of humanitarian workers and organisations.

There have been reports that the hostages are believed to be held in an ISWAP enclave on the shores of Lake Chad.

Villagers said the kidnapped aid workers were seen with their armed captors passing through the villages of Chamba and Gatafo on the day of their abduction.

ISWAP is a splinter group of jihadist group Boko Haram that swore allegiance in 2016 to IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

It has repeatedly attacked military bases and targeted aid workers in northeast Nigeria.

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