British Missionary Shot Dead After Singing ‘Amazing Grace’
The three British missionaries freed from the captivity of suspected Niger Delta militants have recounted their “horrifying” ordeal in their abductors’ den.
Alanna Carson, David Donovan and Shirley Donovan were released after UK and Nigerian governments reportedly paid their ransoms.
Ian Squire, their counterpart, was, however, unlucky as he was killed by the suspected militants who kidnapped them earlier in October in Delta state.
Recounting how Squire was killed in an interview with The Telegraph, David said the late missionary had lifted the group’s spirit while playing Amazing Grace — a Christian song — with a guitar.
“It was the perfect song, and at that point things began to look not quite as bad. But then, after Ian finished playing, he stood up, and a salvo of gunshots killed him instantly,” he said.
“We didn’t see who did it, but it was obvious that someone in the gang had shot him. It was terrifying to see. We jumped out of the shack and into the water as we thought they were coming for us next, but a member of the gang came and put us back in there with Ian for the rest of the day.”
Shirley and Carson had also feared they may be sexually assaulted by any of the 14 gang-members who “spent much of their time playing violent videos and loud, sexually suggestive rap music on their mobiles.”
“But thankfully the gang leader told his men that if they so much as touched the women, he would kill them personally,” David recounted.
“At one point, the ‘General’ — leader of the gang — lashed an underling 50 times across his bare buttocks for falling asleep on guard duty.”
Daily Telegraph quoted them as saying the guards were overheard talking about selling them to the Boko Haram insurgent group.
“While that seemed unlikely as Boko Haram are despised in Christian southern Nigeria, Shirley said that ‘as Christian missionaries our blood ran cold at that point,” he said.
David recalled that they had kept their spirits up by reading a Bible that the kidnappers had stolen in a robbery incident, adding that as time went on, they also used the Bible to build a rapport with the guards.
“They justified their actions by saying that they had grown up with nothing and that we were privileged, but we pointed out that some of our clinic workers had also come from troubled backgrounds,” he continued.
“There was a bit of a silence about that at first, but by the end two of them were asking for lessons on the Bible.”