Dr Ian Squire: killed by despicable kidnappers in Burutu Delta state
Dr Ian Squire, the 57-year old British optician was on his fourth visit to Burutu, Delta State in Nigeria’s South, on health charity work, when he was kidnapped on 13 October.
He did not survive it. The British Foreign Office announced his death today.
The despicable kidnappers captured him and three other Britons from their accommodation, to demand ransom.
Ian Squire: performing charity work in Nigeria
While they released three others, they killed Squire, a man who had left his thriving practice in Shepperton Surrey, to offer succor and sight to poor Nigerians.
He and the three colleagues, David Donovan, his wife Shirley and Alanna Carson captured with him were in Nigeria to offer cataract operations and eye check-ups to Delta people.
What a deplorable way to reward a ‘lovely, quiet man who only wanted to help the Nigerian poor’!
According to a report by London Metro newspaper, Squire ran his own optical service in Shepperton, Surrey, and had been founder and chairman of Christian charity Mission for Vision since 2003.
Friend Monica Chard told the Metro: ‘He was a lovely, quiet man who everyone knew and loved as the village optician.
‘He went out to Africa every year with the charity and his wife was also involved. He just wanted to help people see who otherwise would not have had any help.
‘His widow must be devastated, especially after three weeks of hell waiting to find out if he was alive.
‘The people who kidnapped him are despicable. There are too many awful people in the world and he was definitely one of the good ones.’
Squire founded the charity to provide training and eye equipment for clinics in several African countries, including Nigeria, Uganda, Kenya, Mozambique, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
According to his website he had made 13 trips for the charity since 2003, accompanied by other opticians and volunteers.
The Christian charity’s website says: ‘As a christian charity we partner with missionaries and churches in the areas we visit.
‘The clinical work is combined with Christian ministry with a view to providing vision both physical and spiritual.’
Squire was credited with the invention of a portable solar powered frame and lens cutting machine to enable people to make prescription glasses in remote regions.
According to the Shepperton and Sunbury Rotary Club, where Squire delivered several speeches about the charity, he aimed to provide one of the machines to each of his students in Kinshasa, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, for them to take back to their rural communities.
Squire had visited Nigeria on three separate occasions, having first visited the country in 2013.
* With reports by London Metro.