A 25-year-old Nigerian, Adekunle Sikiru, from Ejigbo Local Government Area of Osun State has been identified as the only casualty Nigeria might have recorded in the last Sunday terrorists attack in Grand Bassam, a beach town in Ivory Coast.
Speaking exclusively to THISDAY at her office in Abidjan, the capital city, Nigeria’s Ambassador to the country, Mrs. Ifeoma Akabogu-Chinwuba, who hinted at the development, also said with the recent attacks in neighbouring countries, they knew an attack would be launched on the country too, more so that the French intelligence had earlier issued a warning to the country and Dakar over imminent threat of attacks.
Akabogu-Chinwuba, who described Grand Bassam, the nation’s first capital city and UNESCO’s heritage site as a popular weekend spot, where tourists usually find attractive, said she did not know at first that any Nigerian was lost in the attack as her initial spot check did not reveal any such thing.
But after another round of combing, it was discovered that a Nigerian was actually killed too because his car was spotted at the hotel vicinity, before his remains, which had been deposited at a morgue, was identified by his brother.
“Last Monday, I was told that a Nigerian, Adekunle Sikiru, was killed in the attack. On that first day, it was not clear and we did not know who was who. Even when we went to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs last Monday, we were told that there were four white-skinned and eight black-skinned but they did not tag their identities.
“But already, we had been told that the consular was able to find out that a Nigerian lost his life in the attack and his body is still in the mortuary. He was a victim – a 25-year-old. His brother had to be led to the police station to identify his car too because he wasn’t staying at Grand Basaam but Abobo, somewhere in Abidjan.
“I think he went to Grand Bassam to relax. That’s the only casualty we have from Nigeria – a 25-year-old man from Ejigbo Local Government Area in Osun State,” she reiterated, adding that further checks from other sources including the Nigerian community did not reveal any more Nigerian casualty.
The ambassador however claimed it was a complete feeling of distraught when the news of the attack first filtered in because even though they had expected that the terrorists might someday look in the direction of the country, no one had expected it would be that soon.