The British missionary, Ian Squire, who was killed in captivity last month, died because he was singing “Amazing Grace” to comfort his fellow captives. According to the rescued captives, Ian had just finished singing the song on their first day when the gunmen opened fire on him. The abductors are believed to be part of a cult group called the Egbesu Boys. So far, several of the gang members have been captured or killed by the local authorities, but the leader is still at large. The three who survived said that they were not told why the gunmen killed Ian, but they remember him as “a man of faith”.
2017-11-29 Nigeria (WorldWatchMonitor) The British optician kidnapped and killed last month in Nigeria died in a hail of bullets after singing the hymn ‘Amazing Grace’ to lift the spirits of his fellow hostages, two of them said.
Ian Squire, 57, was killed instantly by shots fired by one of four gang members who abducted him and three other aid workers from their clinic in the country’s lawless southern Delta region on 13 October, the UK’s Telegraph newspaper reports.
David Donovan, a doctor, and his wife Shirley, a teacher, set up a medical training charity, New Foundations, and four years ago teamed up with Ian Squire, who ran his own eyesight charity, Mission for Vision.
The circumstances surrounding Squire’s death were not made clear in accounts published earlier this month when the other three hostages were released, and some suggested he had died of an asthma attack.
However his fellow hostages told The Telegraph he was killed on their first morning in captivity – in a 16’x10’ bamboo hut in a remote swamp.
David Donovan said: “We asked if [Ian] could play a song or sing a hymn. He said the only thing he could do without chord sheets was ‘Amazing Grace’.
“So we sang that together. And at the end of it, three of us were sitting on the mattress, and Ian was standing up. And as he was standing up, we heard two single shots and then a salvo. Ian died instantly.
“The three of us jumped immediately into the flood and hid behind a pillar of this small hut.”
The couple said the gunmen never explained why they opened fire. The gang were part of a cult named after Egbesu, a local warrior god, and spent much of their time drunk and smoking marijuana and pipefuls of cocaine, The Telegraph reported. A manhunt is underway for the gang, known locally as the Egbesu Boys. Several have already been arrested or killed but the leader, Karowei Gbakumor, whose followers refer to him as “The General”, is still at large.
David Donovan said Squire had trained local staff to make prescription glasses using a bespoke lens-cutting machine he had made for use in remote areas, a service unavailable elsewhere in impoverished Delta state. He paid tribute to his professional achievements as “outstanding” and “revolutionary”.