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Abducted Oil Workers Released in Nigeria


Eight oil workers, who were abducted from a rig off Nigeria's coast, have been released. The release followed negotiations involving high-level Nigerian officials.

The released oil workers were flown by helicopter to Yenogoa, the capital of the southern Bayelsa state, late Sunday morning.

A journalist in Yenegoa, Sam Oyadohor, who witnessed their arrival, described what happened.

"They were flown into Government House, where they were handed over to the Bayelsa state government at about 11.20 this morning. They came in two batches," Oyadohor said. "The first batch came earlier, and the second batch touched down at about 11.20 a.m. in an air force chopper. We asked one of them, and he said, well, their condition was not too good, not too bad. Not too good in the sense that they were restricted, and, in the last three days, they had not taken their bath. They were with their toothbrush when we saw them."

A spokesman for the Bayelsa state government, Johnny Igoniwari, said no money was paid for the release of the men.

"There was no money spent for the hostages, nothing at all. The state government was able to secure their release," Igoniwari said.

The hostages, six Britons, one Canadian and one American were kidnapped on Friday from an oil rig off Nigeria's coast. The incident was the fourth kidnapping of foreign oil workers this year in Nigeria, Africa's leading oil producer.