Villagers from Enokhora, a remote community in the Niger Delta where four British missionaries were kidnapped last month, have held a parade to honour Ian Squire.
It is understood that Mr Squire, from Surrey, died after he was unable to access medication for his asthma following the kidnapping. The three other British missionaries who were held with him were set free.
Mr Squire and his compatriots had travelled to the area in 2007 to set up an eye clinic, one of only a handful of health facilities in the region, which now faces closure.
“The villagers were clearly shocked and deeply saddened by the kidnapping and the consequent death of Mr Squire,” said Paul Weldon, managing director of The Panic Room Company.
“I saw a local TV report which showed images of the missionaries’ clinic and all the locks on the doors had been smashed open when the kidnappers carried out their attack just after midnight on 13th October.”
Continues Paul: “Apparently the missionaries had turned down offers of guards after previous abduction attempts, and the support of a local vigilante saying that they “believed in God and they were missionaries”.
“Clearly in an ‘at risk’ location, the missionaries, and indeed villagers who may have ended up getting caught up in the kidnapping, would certainly have benefited from either a ‘safe house’ or specific ‘secure area’. A place where they could’ve sought a secure refuge would have resulted in a much more positive outcome to this story.”
Concludes Paul: “Government agencies, NGOs and the individuals who wish to carry out similar humanitarian operations have a duty of care to themselves and those local people they are working with and caring for. A ‘secure area’ should be the very minimum requirement in such projects in order to prevent similar incidents and, ultimately, loss of life occurring.”