1. ITV Report

Family pay tribute to executed hostage at funeral

Chris McManus (second right) with his family Photo: Foreign and Commonwealth Office

The family of a man from Oldham who was kidnapped and executed in Nigeria have paid tribute to him as he is laid to rest. His parents told more than 600 mourners he 'always made people feel special'.

Chris McManus, 28, was taken hostage from his apartment in the city of Birnin Kebbi last May. Gunmen seized the quantity surveyor along with Italian colleague Franco Lamolinara.

Both men were shot dead by their captors during a rescue bid by British and Nigerian forces. They were killed in Sokoto earlier this month as a special forces team tried to reach them.

A eulogy was read on behalf of his family at Our Lady of Mount Carmel and St Patrick RC Church in Oldham. In it his parents Michael and Laura said: "He felt lucky in making friends in all areas of his life.

"He treasured his family. He loved us all so much.

"He always made people feel so special and we feel privileged that we knew him."

It emerged last week that Mr McManus's family had received direct threats from his kidnappers. Before the funeral they paid tribute to a man who was 'all about love and lived his life to the full'.

Chris's family said in a statement: "Chris went to Nigeria to gain professional experience and was welcomed like a family member by his employer and colleagues. He loved Nigeria and the people and made many friends in the country.

"Chris loved football, and in particular watching his beloved Oldham Athletic Football Club. He could be seen regularly on the terraces.

"We know that many people both here and in Nigeria worked hard to free Chris; we are grateful for their determination and the bravery of those who tried to rescue him. Chris would have been proud to know that every effort was made to try and bring him home."

Security sources claim the kidnappers belonged to a faction of Boko Haram, a militant Islamist sect. They are believed to be responsible for nearly 1,000 deaths since launching an uprising three years ago.

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