British hostage Mathew Maguire, who was due to be freed by his captors Monday night as his ‘birthday gift’, has rejected the offer, the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) said. ”Mr Mathew Maguire has declined the gift of a release from captivity with an argument that he is now an advocate for change in the region and a honorary member of the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND). ”He insists that his release should only be considered when (MEND leader) Henry Okah is freed to participate in a credible peace process or has been allowed to travel for his urgent kidney surgery,” MEND said in a statement e-mailed to the media Monday night. The militants added: ”This has come as a surprise to us and we cannot forcibly eject him from our camp against his will.”
It was the first time ever that MEND will report a hostage rejecting a freedom offer. Maguire has spent about nine months in captivity since he was ‘rescued’ by MEND from pirates who abducted him, another Briton and 19 others in September last year. All the other hostages, including the other Briton – Robin Barry Hughes – have since been freed.
Courtesy – Nigeria Today 6-30-9