A male Nigerian nurse abducted by the Islamic State’s West Africa Province (ISWAP) since the beginning of 2020 has escaped from the captivity of the terrorists.
The return of the healthcare worker, whose name and organisation was withheld, was facilitated by the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF).
This was revealed in a statement on Wednesday by Colonel Muhammad Dole, the Chief of Military Public Information at the MNJTF Headquarters in Ndjamena, Chad’s capital.
Colonel Dole explained that the action of the task force was in consonance with its mandate which included to “facilitate within the limits of its capabilities, humanitarian operations and the delivery of assistance to the affected populations.”
According to him, the nurse who was incarcerated in one of ISWAP’s strongholds in the Lake Chad region bolted to safety and freedom, in the aftermath of a joint air interdiction conducted by the MNJTF and national partners.
“After bombs and rockets from the aircraft landed and everywhere exploded in flames, both terrorists and hostages ran for dear life.
“I had to take my chance. I am grateful to God that I was able to escape,” the nurse was quoted as saying in the statement.
The healthcare worker then made his way to a village in the Republic of Niger and was promptly handed over to security agents in Sector 4 of the MNJTF.
Colonel Dole disclosed that the airlift and hand over of the nurse to Nigerian authorities was preceded by a medical examination conducted to determine the state of health of the victim after spending about eight months in the horrific and squalid conditions which he had to endure during the period of his captivity in ISWAP enclave.
He reassured populations in the Lake Chad basin that the MNJFT was committed to providing security and facilitate development efforts being spearheaded by the respective national governments and international development partners.