The abduction of some staff of the International Rescue Committee, IRC in Monguno at their residents by yet to be identified terrorist group may not be unconnected with the rising humanitarian crises in the area since the return of thousands of Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs from Maiduguri, officials have said.
Humanitarian workers told DAILY POST that there are crises ranging from lack of food for IDPs as well as a policy by the Borno State government stopping NGOs from providing food for the displaced persons.
Speaking on Monday, a staff of one of the organizations said they are yet to find out who abducted the IRC staff and others, insisting it could be the ISWAP or members of the late Shekau’s faction of the terrorist group.
The source said there are rumours that the staff of an NGO may not have been abducted by either group but by some criminal elements acting to confuse people and get attention.
“I am not saying this is correct but lack of food here in Monguno has pushed a lot of IDPs into disguising as terrorists to commit crime. There are 12 IDP camps currently in Monguno with thousands of displaced persons seeking humanitarian assistance. Criminals can easily get guns to perpetrate their evils.
“Why we are not immediately suspecting either group of the terrorists is because this thing happened within the town. It has never happened like this. Most of the time people are being abducted on the road but this one they were in their houses when the attackers came. Our confusion is, where were the security operatives when this was happening?” He asked.
Another aid worker said he believes the terrorists who abducted the IRC staff and other humanitarian workers in Monguno are either members of the ISWAP or JAS group.
He said ”it is not as if the town is well protected that these elements can not penetrate to commit a crime. “It is only God that has been saving us here. We are constantly living in fear since the incident last week. In fact, we are weak because this incident happened within the town. Forget about what the organisations are saying. We should pray for their safe return because this is not the first time aid workers are abducted. Ours is to pray because there is nothing these organisations are doing when it comes to issues of local staff. We are doing this work because there are no jobs.”