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Last Updated: Friday, 6 July 2007, 11:59 GMT 12:59 UK
'We were told this was our last night'
Phil Morris
Phil Morris: 'Completely terrified' as security 'dissolved'
Kidnappers have seized the three-year-old daughter of a UK expatriate worker in Nigeria. The kidnapping of foreigners for ransom has become big business in the Niger Delta region.

Phil Morris, from Liverpool, who was held with seven others last year while working for an oil company, told the BBC of his experience.

My ordeal began at three in the morning.

I was forcibly taken at gunpoint from the installation I was working on - taken by boat, it was basically a four-hour journey back to the jungle, really, where we were held for four days.

We were told that this was our last night - we were all going to die, they were going to execute us.

There has to be a political solution - that is the best way forward...
Phil Morris

Words just can't describe the sense of emotion and feelings that you go through thinking you'll never see the people that you love again.

It's just completely terrifying. To feel the security around you just totally dissolve, it's just a terrifying situation to find yourself in...

We were held in a village - the local people were actually quite good to us, I have to say, but it was still a terrifying ordeal.

Nigerian officials helped secure the release.

Despite its oil wealth, the region remains highly impoverished, a situation the militants say they want to change with their campaign.

Mr Morris said his kidnappers were "very aggressive" and "obnoxious".

He said he had the impression they "were just looking for what they could get out of the situation" but did talk about wider issues, which he felt needed to be addressed.

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I think they were trying to come under a political agenda but the term brigands would probably be more appropriate.

They did articulate - I do believe there is a problem that does need addressing.

There are problems there, obviously. Some of the region is very poor but I don't think kidnapping people is the answer. There has to be a political solution - that is the best way forward....

Obviously for myself, my colleagues and other people that have been kidnapped, it has caused torment to lives.

I think you will find Nigerian people are just like anybody else, the majority are good hard-working people - all they are asking for is the basic things we take for granted.

Obviously, these kidnappings don't help the situation at all. In this case it's just a heartbreaking thing for a child to be taken.



SEE ALSO
Country profile: Nigeria
29 May 07 |  Country profiles



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