The United Kingdom on Sunday vowed that it would assist the Federal Government to bring to book the killers of seven foreign workers, including a British citizen, seized off a factory in Bauchi last month.
The Political and Press Secretary in the British High Commission in Abuja, Hooman Nouruzi, said in a statement that the UK was determined to work with the Nigerian government to bring the perpetrators of the killing to justice.
“I am grateful to the Nigerian government for their unstinting help and cooperation. We are utterly determined to work with them to hold the perpetrators of this heinous act to account, and to combat the terrorism which so blights the lives of the people of Northern Nigeria and in the wider region,” the statement said.
This came even as Britain, Italy and Greece on Sunday confirmed that hostages from their countries were among the foreign construction workers killed on Saturday by the Jama’atu Ansarul Musilimina Fi Biladis Sudan.
“This was an act of cold-blooded murder, which I condemn in the strongest terms,” Nouruzi quoted the British Foreign Secretary William Hague as saying.
The terrorist group, said to be a breakaway faction of the violent Islamic sect, Boko Haram, which seized the foreigners in Bauchi on February 16, announced on Saturday that it had killed the hostages.
The group purportedly issued a statement in Arabic and English on an affiliate of the Sinam al-Islam network accompanied by screen shots of a video purporting to show the dead hostages. One screenshot showed a man with gun standing above several prone figures lying on the ground.
In its statement, the group said it had decided to kill the hostages, taken from the compound of a Lebanese construction company, because of attempts by Britain and Nigeria to rescue them.
“(We) announced the capture of seven Christian foreigners and warned that any attempt by force to rescue them will put their lives in danger,” the statement said.
Meanwhile, the Federal Government on Sunday still refused to comment on the killing of the foreigners.
Efforts to speak with the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati, on the telephone did not yield any result as his telephone lines remained switched off on Sunday, while the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Public Affairs, Dr. Doyin Okupe, did not pick his calls.
Spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Ogbole Ahmedu- Ode, said he had yet to be briefed so he could not comment. [Punch]