Five aid workers abducted by Boko Haram insurgents last December have been released, security sources have told PREMIUM TIMES.
The workers, two females and three males, were kidnapped on December 22 after a gang of gunmen believed to be Boko Haram terrorists ambushed their vehicle between Monguno and Damaturu.
According to the sources, who spoke to PREMIUM TIMES, on strict conditions of anonymity, the release of the five abductees was facilitated by the State Security Service.
“It is a big day for us here in Borno with the release of the five abductees,” one source said.
The source said the five victims arrived at the SSS office in Maiduguri at about 4 p.m.
“Two of the abductees were staff of ALIMA, an international NGO; one from Solidarity International, one from International Organization on Migration and one from Red Cross,” the source said.
But the Red Cross and IOM have in separate communications confirmed to PREMIUM TIMES that none of their staff was among the rescued aid workers.
The source did not mention if any ransom was paid to secure the release of the five abductees.
The spokesperson of the SSS, Peter Afunanya, however, told PR Nigeria that the five aid workers were rescued by the agency.