Former vice president, Atiku Abubakar, has condemned the killing of Faye Mooney, a British aid worker, and Matthew Oguche, her boyfriend, in Kajuru local government area of Kaduna State.

The two were killed when armed assailants invaded Kajuru Castle, a recreational resort, and kidnapped three people on Friday, April 19, 2019. They were part of a group of 14 who had travelled from Lagos State to the crisis-ridden part of Kaduna.

In a statement released by Atiku on Monday, April 22, he appealed to the government of the United Kingdom to not see the attack as a reflection of Nigeria's character.

He called on the Federal Government to do more than talk and ensure that the culprits of the attack are brought to book so as to stem insecurity and make Nigeria peaceful for Nigerians and foreigners looking to partner as well as invest in the country.

He said, "We need to keep Nigeria safe for Nigerians and foreigners. The death of any Nigerian or foreigner from terror, crime or insecurity grieves my heart. Nobody's life is worth taking to advance a religious, political or criminal cause. 

"I condemn the killing of British aid worker, Faye Mooney, and her Nigerian partner, Mathew Oguche two days ago in Kaduna State. Several other Nigerians were kidnapped during the episode.

"I want the government and people of the United Kingdom to know that these atrocious actions do not reflect Nigeria's national character.

"These killings must end or Nigeria will lose desperately needed friends, partners and investors. Not only do I condemn this recent killing, but I make an urgent call for the federal and state authorities to track down the culprits and make them pay for their crimes.

"The time for empty rhetoric is long gone. Now is the time for urgent national action to stem insecurity. Nigeria must once again become synonymous with peace, progress and prosperity. This can only happen when crime and punishment are a natural cause and effect.

"As long as there is impunity, our nation will lack unity and security. Impunity must end and must end in earnest. These crimes continue to reoccur because previous killings have not been met with justice.

"When the punishment for crimes are not forthcoming, criminals are emboldened to commit even worse crimes."

AFP
Atiku Abubakar [AFP]

Mooney was a communications specialist for aid group Mercy Corps before her death. Although the identity of the second victim has not been disclosed by authorities, it is believed to be her boyfriend, Oguche.

Kajuru has been plagued by conflict over the past few months with communal conflicts as well as activities of bandits leading to the death of dozens.

At least 55 people were killed during a communal clash at Kasuwan Magani in October 2018, and another 130 people were killed in another spate of violence that ravaged Maro and several other communities in February 2019.