British citizen killed in a kidnap attempt in Nigeria
Report by Hassan John
Faye Mooney, 29, a staff with with Mercy Corps, was killed while “on holiday with her boyfriend Matthew Oguche,” her family said, at a resort called Kajuru, in Kaduna State, central Nigeria, the troubled region besieged by Islamists Fulani gunmen who have attacked and destroyed Christian farming villages and killed hundreds of people since 2017. Three other people were kidnapped in the attack, the Kaduna state police command said.
In a statement, on Sunday April 21, Yakubu Sabo, spokesman of the Kaduna State Police command, said the police headquarters “received an information through DPO Kajuru that at about 23:40hrs, that some suspected kidnappers armed with dangerous weapons gained entry into a recreational resort called Kajuru Castle in Kajuru Local Government Area shooting sporadically and in the process shot dead two persons, including an expatriate lady and took away three others.”
The police statement added that Mooney, “along with twelve others came from Lagos on tourism after which they organized a party at the Castle located at the Hill Top during which the incident happened.” The police further stated that the team should have informed “the police for security coverage, but the party was done without the knowledge of the police in the area as traditionally done.”
At least 600 people have been killed and hundreds more displaced in Kajuru since February. Islamist Fulani gunmen have also been notorious for kidnapping for ransom. The region, from Kajuru local council covering most major roads going to Abuja, Nigeria’s capital, suffered also suffered banditry, kidnapping, cattle rustling and destruction of Christian farming villages, from groups of armed Fulani herdsmen, according to many residents and victims.
Neal Keny-Guyer, Mercy Corps’ Chief Executive, on a social media post, said “Faye was a dedicated, passionate communication and learning specialist,”saying that colleagues were “utterly heartbroken” at her demise.
Mooney’s family, told The Guardian (UK), she “deep love for life and people” and that she “was an inspiration to her family, friends, students and work colleagues. Her bravery and her belief in a better society took her to places others feared. Faye did what she wanted; nothing held her back.”
Former vice president, Atiku Abubakar, condemning the attack, said, “as long as there is impunity, our nation will lack unity and security. Impunity must end and must end in earnest. These crimes continue to reoccur because previous killings have not been met with justice. When the punishment for crimes are not forthcoming, criminals are emboldened to commit even worse crimes,” Atiku stated.