11 Nigerians Killed in World Trade Center Assault
Almost a month after the devastating terrorist attacks on the US, Nigeria says 11 of its citizens were among nationals of 70 countries, who died in the attacks.
Foreign Minister Sule Lamido told reporters in Abuja that the government was only able to confirm one Nigerian, Godwin Ajala, dead because his body was found in the rubbles of the World Trade Centre, whose twin towers collapsed after two commercial jetliners hijacked by terrorists slammed into the buildings 11 September.
He said 10 others, declared missing are now presumed dead.
They are Sadie Ette, Nnena Nwanju, Bukola Akano, Victoria Chakwoda, Saidat Lawal-Akinwunmi, Olabisi Olayemi, Ignatius Adanga, J. Ofulue, Mr. Okuroungbe and Jerome Akwukombi.
The Minister denied press reports that as many as 93 Nigerians died in the attacks, saying: "Any other information is not officially available to Nigeria."
Nigerians have been critical of the government's slow pace in disclosing the number and identity of the country's citizens who died in the attacks, after other nations came out with the full list of their citizens affected a few days after the disaster.
But Lamido explained that the delay was due to the sensitive nature of the attacks, and the need for the government to properly study the situation before coming out with a definite position.
"We are always in constant touch with our Consulate in New York and we have been in constant touch with our Ambassador, Jubril Aminu, in Washington DC... We are very much aware and we are very much kept abreast of all the development," he said.
PanAfrican News Agency
October 9, 2001