Ian Squire, a 56-year-old British national missionary, who was kidnapped with three others on the 13 October in the Nigeria’s Niger Delta region by an armed group, has died in custody. Three other missionaries have got their freedom.
The fact behind his death is yet not clear according to the sources the British Foreign Office declined any comments on Monday evening on the circumstances of Mr Squire’s death.
Sources in Nigeria, however said Ian possibly died as a result of illness while in custody in the disease infested swamp of the Niger Delta region.
The three other missionaries, who have been working in the region for the past 14 years were abducted with Ian Squire and freed after a three-week torment in Nigeria Niger Delta.
Ian Squire was an optician and a Christian missionary with his own charitable trust, Mission for Vision. He had been travelling to Nigeria since 2013 in a joint effort with New Foundations. The charity had also some work in other African countries like Burundi, Ghana, Kenya, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Ian joined the New Foundations Optical Centre in 2016, where he gives training to local people to carry out sight tests and dispense prescription spectacles in Enekorogha. Ian build up a solar-powered, portable lens-grinding machine for the clinic in a community which was without electricity.
Monica Chard, a friend of Ian said that “He was a lovely, calm man who everyone knew and loved as the village optician.
“He went out to Africa every year with the charity and his wife was also involved. He just wanted to help people see who otherwise would not have had any help.
The families of the abducted Christian missionaries, in a statement, said, “Alanna, Ian, David and Shirley were kidnapped in Nigeria some three weeks ago, We are thankful for the support received by the British high commission and help from the Nigerian authorities in negotiating their release,” the families said.
“We are pleased and relieved that Alanna, David and Shirley have returned home safely. Our thoughts are now with the family and friends of Ian as we come to terms with his sad death.”