Royal Dutch Shell Plc  .com Rotating Header Image

BBC News: ‘UK toddler’ kidnapped in Nigeria

Thursday, 5 July 2007
 
The three-year-old daughter of an expatriate worker said to be British has been kidnapped by gunmen in the Niger Delta, Nigerian police have said.

The toddler was seized from a car on her way to school in the oil city of Port Harcourt in the early morning.

The kidnapping follows that of five oil workers on Wednesday, the first since the main militant group in the area called off a month-long ceasefire.

The UK’s Foreign Office has not confirmed the nationality of the girl.

It said it was aware of the reports and was urgently checking them.
 
The BBC’s Alex Last in Lagos says that in almost all previous cases it is foreign oil workers who have been taken hostage but in recent months the children of wealthy Nigerians have also become targets.

Who took the girl is not clear, he adds, but there are a plethora of armed gangs which operate in the Niger Delta and kidnapping for ransom has become big business.

Kidnaps

The girl is the third child to be kidnapped by unknown gunmen in Nigeria in the last couple of weeks.

The first girl to be taken hostage was the daughter of a Nigerian businessman. A local state legislator’s daughter was also kidnapped last week.

Both were later released unharmed after ransom payments, the BBC’s Abdullahi Kaura in Port Harcourt says.

More than 100 foreigners have been taken hostage in the region this year.

Correspondents say hostages are usually released after ransom payments that the Nigerian government and oil companies involved always deny.

Attacks ‘to continue’

Wednesday’s incident involved two New Zealanders, an Australian, a Venezuelan and a Lebanese kidnapped in Soku, Rivers state.

The main militant group, the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (Mend) said it had nothing to do with the attack.

On Tuesday, Mend announced that it would not extend its month-long ceasefire called to give the new government a chance to set up talks on the restive region.

It said it would also resume abductions and attacks on oil installations.

The group says it has been kept on the sidelines of government-led talks about the future of the Niger Delta.

Although the Delta accounts for over 90% of Nigeria’s income, the region remains highly impoverished, a situation the militants say they want to change with their campaign.

How safe do you feel in the Niger Delta? Send us your comments.

To comment go to…
 
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/6272676.stm

royaldutchshellplc.com and its also non-profit sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellenergy.website, shellnazihistory.com, royaldutchshell.website, johndonovan.website, shellnews.net and shell2004.com are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.

0 Comments on “BBC News: ‘UK toddler’ kidnapped in Nigeria”

Leave a Comment

%d bloggers like this: