Ransom ruled out for abducted New Zealander in Nigeria
Wellington, June 23 (IANS) New Zealand Prime Minister John Key on Thursday ruled out paying a ransom for a New Zealander who was abducted in southern Nigeria.
Key told a press conference that there was no chance of the government paying a ransom for the New Zealander’s release, saying the compromise would only put a bounty on the head of any of the country’s citizen working in a volatile region and make the situation worse, Xinhua news agency reported.
On Wednesday, armed assailants abducted three foreign contractors, including the New Zealander and two Australians and killed their driver on the outskirts of Calabar.
They worked for an Australian mining company.
Key said it was likely the kidnapping was random motivated rather than an terror act. The kidnappers are yet make a ransom demand.
Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said the Australian High Commissioner in Nigeria is at the scene while New Zealand has no diplomatic mission in the country limiting its capacity to coordinate the rescue.
New Zealand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has made Nigeria an extreme risk rating because of the threat from terrorism, kidnapping and violent crime, advising its citizens against all travel in the north and against all tourist and other non-essential travel throughout the rest of the country.
Expatriate workers at oil and gas facilities were often targeted by militant groups in the northern regions of Nigeria where most of the recent kidnappings occurred.