German Citizen Kidnapped in Northern NigeriaJuly 22, 2014 in Nigeria
Police officials reported late Wednesday that gunmen riding on motorcycles have kidnapped a German national in northeastern Nigeria.
Adamawa police spokesman confirmed the incident, which occurred during the early morning hours in the town of Gombi, stating, “security agents are working assiduously to track down the kidnappers and free the hostage.” A German foreign ministry spokesman has indicated that he “was aware of the case” however the official declined to comment further. The identity of the German citizen has not been released.
Residents in Gombi, located 100 kilometers (62 miles) from Yola, the capital of Adamawa state, have identified the hostage as an instructor at a government-run technical training center, disclosing that he was attacked by about twenty gunmen outside his home in the Anguwa Faransa neighborhood, the French quarters of the city, as he left for work. One local resident reported “the kidnappers were riding on 10 motorcycles, two on each, and laid ambush around the house of the German expatriate.” The German expatriate works at the Technical Training Center (TTC), which has been set up by the regional government in Adamawa to combat the massive youth unemployment in the region. Local sources have reported that there are a number of German expatriates working at the Center.
No immediate claim of responsibility has been confirmed, however initial blame has fallen on Boko haram. While the militant group is opposed to schools teaching a so-called Western curriculum, and has in the past launched attacks targeting students and teachers, Ansaru, an offshoot of Boko Haram, has claimed responsibility for the kidnapping of at least eight foreigners in northern Nigeria since 2012. While the group has been largely dormant for more than a year, this latest kidnapping may signify that the group is ready to target foreigners in the region in a bid to fund the on going insurgency. The 2013 abduction, and subsequent release of a French family of seven, including four children, across Nigeria’s northeastern border in Cameroon is believed to have netted Boko Haram a ransom payment of several million dollars.