By Soni Daniel & Perez Brisibe
Three weeks after being kidnapped by Niger Delta militants in Delta State, a British national, identified as Ian Squire, has died in captivity.
However, three other Britons, who were taken along with the dead one, were freed and returned to Britain, the British High Commission confirmed in a mail to Vanguard, yesterday.
Records showed that Ian Squire was one of four Britons forcefully taken at about 2a.m. on October 13, prompting the Nigerian Government and the British High Commission to launch a spirited bid to free them.
It was not, however, clear how and why Ian was killed while the two countries successfully negotiated the release of the other three—Alanna Carson, David Donovan, and Shirley Donovan.
Meanwhile, security sources, yesterday, revealed that contrary to reports that the Briton was killed by his abductors, he died from complications of asthma and diabetics.
The family of the deceased and the Foreign Office, yesterday, confirmed the death of Ian and released a joint statement made available to Vanguard in Abuja.
The statement from the family said: “Alanna, Ian, David and Shirley were kidnapped in Nigeria three weeks ago.
“We are grateful for the support received by the British High Commission, and help from the Nigerian authorities in negotiating their release. We are delighted and relieved that Alanna, David, and Shirley have returned home safely.
“Our thoughts are now with the family and friends of Ian as we come to terms with his sad death.
“This has been a traumatic time for our loved ones who were kidnapped and for their families and friends here in the UK. We would, therefore, ask that the media respect our privacy as we come to terms with the news. We will not be making any further comment,” the family said.
The Foreign Office said, yesterday, it will support the families of the abductees and that of Ian.
A Foreign Office spokesperson said: “We are supporting the families of four British people, who were abducted on October 13 in Nigeria, one of who was tragically killed.
“This has clearly been a traumatic time for all concerned, and our staff will continue to do all we can to support the families.
“We are grateful to the Nigerian authorities and are unable to comment given the ongoing nature of their investigations.
“We are grateful to media for respecting the privacy of the families.”
‘Militants didn’t kill him’
Details, yesterday, emerged on how the British missionary, who was abducted along three others by militants in Enekorogha community of Delta State died.
Security sources, who spoke to Vanguard, said contrary to reports that the Briton was killed by his abductors in custody, the victim, who was actually asthmatic and diabetic, died from complications of his ailment.
The source said: “The victims have since returned to the United Kingdom. They were released and dropped off at a deserted swampy area of Ekeremor community, Bayelsa State.
“One of the male victims, who was asthmatic and diabetic at the same time, died while in captivity as a result of complications from his ailment.”