Matthew Oguche, a Nigerian, and Faye Mooney, a British aid worker, were both killed by armed assailants who invaded Kajuru Castle, a recreational resort, on Friday, April 19, 2019. The bandits also kidnapped three people during the attack.
In a statement signed by Segun Adeyemi, media aide to the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, on Tuesday, April 23, he commiserated with the families of the deceased victims and promised that their killers will be apprehended and brought to justice.
“We commiserate with the families and friends of Ms Mooney and Mr Oguche, and wish to assure that the security agencies will leave no stone unturned in their efforts to apprehend the killers and bring them to justice,” he said.
The minister also promised that security agencies are doing everything possible to ensure that the three kidnapped victims are released unharmed.
Mohammed noted that the attack is a setback to efforts to promote tourism in the country and assured that the government will intensify its efforts to stem the wave of violence and banditry in some parts of the country.
“The government will not relent until all parts of the country are made safe for all, whether they are tourists, business people or ordinary Nigerians who just want to live their lives under an atmosphere of peace and security,” he said.
Mooney and Oguche, who were lovers, were killed while trying to escape during an exchange of gunfire between the bandits and two police officers standing guard in front of the castle.
While Mooney was working in Nigeria for an NGO called Mercy Corps until her death, Oguche was working as a training assistant with the International NGO Safety Organisation (INSO).
The Kogi State native was involved in the delivery of personal safety and hostile environment awareness courses to NGOs before his death. He also worked as a programme assistant at Mercy Corps, where he most likely met Mooney, between July 2017 and January 2018.
Oguche and Mooney were part of a group of 14 who had travelled from Lagos State to the crisis-ridden Kajuru which 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.