The Federal Government is considering arrangements that will boost security measures around foreigners working in northern states following last weekend’s announcement by Ansaru, an offshoot of Boko Haram, that it had killed seven foreign construction workers it abducted last month in Bauchi State.
It was gathered from security sources that companies and agencies employing foreigners to work in the north had been directed to seek and adopt special security arrangements to safeguard their lives. It was learnt that the new measures, which will be applicable to firms in the northern states, is aimed at preventing further embarrassment for Nigeria from Islamic militants who overpower security personnel of the companies with ease, to capture their foreign workers.
Ansaru, during a raid on the campsite of a construction company, Setraco, in Jama’are, Bauchi State, on February 16, had abducted the seven foreign construction workers after killing their local guard. The names and nationalities of the slain foreign workers are: Brendan Vaughan (British), Silvano Trevisan (Italian), Imad Elandary (Lebanese), Carlos Abou Aziz (Lebanese), Konstantinos Karras (Greek), Ghaida Saad (F/Syrian) and
Julio Alkhouli (Syrian). However, it could not be ascertained from security sources if the “F” in the late Ghaida Saad’s name stands for female or not.
It was also learnt Monday that despite confirmation from Britain, Italy and Greece that the abducted foreign workers had been killed, none of the nation’s security agencies had confirmed Ansaru’s claim that it had executed the captives. The official silence over the fate of the foreign workers arose from the fact that their bodies have not been located.
The Federal Government is also taking precautions about accepting the manner in which the hostages were allegedly killed, as its analysis of the video announcing the killings by the Islamic terrorist group left a lot of gaps. Security authorities also believe that three hostages who were quite ill and had no access to their drugs might have suffered a worsening in their conditions, given the fear expressed by their doctors. The Defence Headquarters maintained its silence over the claim of Ansaru that it had killed the foreigners.