- Title: UNKNOWN: Nigerian militants to kill hostages if gravely ill US man dies.
- Date: 20th January 2006
- Summary: FLASH) UNKNOWN LOCATION, NIGER DELTA, NIGERIA (JANUARY 16, 2006) (REUTERS) UNIDENTIFIED OFFSHORE RIG WITH GAS FLARES WITH AUDIO RUNNING OVER ( AUDIO ) (FLASH) UNKNOWN LOCATION OF AUDIO (JANUARY 19, 2006) (REUTERS) (SOUNDBITE) (English) RECORDING OF MAN WHO IDENTIFIES HIMSELF AS THE GROUND COMMANDER OF THE MOVEMENT SAYING: "One of them is sick, is badly sick and could give up tonight (INAUDIBLE). If one of them dies, you hear, we kill them all." (SOUNDBITE) (English) MAN WHO IDENTIFIES HIMSELF AS US HOSTAGE OIL WORKER PATRICK LANDY WHO IS GRAVELY ILL SAYING: "We are in bad shape here, we really are. You need to get over to the American embassy, somebody, and try to get this resolved. Meet these people's demands. We are not military, we came over here to work (INAUDIBLE) We're not Nigerians. We didn't come over here to get into the middle of this, so please, please, please try to help us." (SOUNDBITE) (English) MAN WHO IDENTIFIES HIMSELF AS BRITISH HOSTAGE NIGEL WATSON-CLARK SAYING: "OK, listen, I have got to tell you we are under a lot of pressure here and things aren't too good. We've been asked to call you and to ask for the assistance of our respective governments to pressure, to speak to the president of Nigeria to effect our release for the demands that have been previously mentioned. You know, we are being moved around continually and we are not being treated that great and we are not used to this sort of stuff. We have got some conditions. We have got diarrhoea. The captain (the American), the captain has got high blood pressure and we are in our ninth night now and it's not too great. (SOUNDBITE) (English) MAN WHO IDENTIFIES HIMSELF AS HONDURAN HOSTAGE, HARRY EBANKS, SAYING: "My name is Harry Ebanks from Honduras, Central America. Please, in the name of Jesus (INAUDIBLE) help us, help us somebody, to the government, all governments -- in Honduras, United States government, British government and the Bulgarian (INAUDIBLE) they can go and talk to this president here in Nigeria that something can be done because (INAUDIBLE) are getting worse and in 24 hours things must fixed, anything can change please do what you can do and do as fast as please. In the name of God, help us (INAUDIBLE). (SOUNDBITE) (English) MAN WHO IDENTIFIES HIMSELF AS BULGARIAN HOSTAGE MILKO NICHEV, SAYING: "My name is Milko Nichev. I am Bulgarian, I have two children. Here the conditions are terrible, we moving from one place to another place. Everybody have problems with health, and water terrible, mosquitos is terrible. Someone has to help us. I don't know how, but help us."
- Embargoed: 4th February 2006 12:00
- Topics: Crime / Law Enforcement,International Relations
- Reuters ID: LVADIR4E4WRCZZPO2VV3HY47H6AL
- Story Text: Nigerian kidnappers said on Thursday (January 19) their U.S. hostage was gravely ill and threatened to kill three other foreign oil workers held captive if he died.
A leader of the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta, whose month-long campaign against oil installations has driven up world oil prices, told Reuters by telephone that the health of U.S. oil worker Patrick Landry was failing.
"One of them is sick, badly sick and could give up tonight," said the man who identified himself as the ground commander of the movement. "If one of them dies, we kill them all."
The hostages -- who also include a Briton, a Honduran and a Bulgarian -- complained by telephone of diarrhoea and fatigue from constant movement in the humid, mosquito-plagued creeks of Nigeria's southern delta.
The workers appealed to their governments to press Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo to meet the militants' demands for the release of ethnic Ijaw leaders and for local control over the region's oil wealth.
The Ijaw militant group said they have not received any contact from Nigeria's government and would not accept a ransom for the hostages, abducted nine days ago from an offshore oilfield operated by Royal Dutch Shell.
"We are in bad shape here, we really are," Landry told Reuters by telephone. "Meet these people's demands. We are not military: we came here to work."
The militants are also demanding that Shell, the top investor in Nigeria, pay $1.5 billion to Bayelsa state to compensate for pollution. Shell has cut its production by 210,000 barrels a day -- a tenth of Nigeria's output -- and pulled out 500 staff.
The British hostage Nigel Watson-Clark read out the militants' demands, unchanged from Monday.
"I have got to tell you we are under a lot of pressure here and things aren't too good," he said, calling on the British government to press President Olusegun Obasanjo for their release.
"We are being moved around continually and we are not being treated that great and we are not used to this sort of stuff. We have got some conditions. We have got diarrhoea. The captain (the American) has got high blood pressure and we are in our ninth night now and it's not too great."
The Bulgarian hostage said: "Everyone suffers problems with health, and water, mosquitos. Someone has to help us."
The Honduran hostage, Harry Ebanks, said anything could happen if a solution was not found in 24 hours.
From hideouts in the delta's maze of tidal creeks and mangrove swamps, the militants have already bombed two export pipelines, causing a massive spill, and attacked at least two large oil platforms. Dozens have been killed, including about 12 Nigerian soldiers, intelligence sources say.
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