The outrage that greeted Monday’s killing of 24-year-old midwife Hauwa Liman grew yesterday.
Hauwa was working with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).
She was abducted at the Rann, Borno State Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camp in March.
Her captors killed her on Monday after issuing a threat to that effect 24 hours earlier.
She, along with three others, was abducted by a faction of the Boko Haram terrorist group, the Islamic State West Africa Province.
The group killed another aid worker, Saifura Ahmed, last month. The fate of the third member of the team remains unknown.
President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday undertook the grim task of speaking on the telephone with Mohammade Liman, Hauwa’s father, after the news of her death was broken to him. He also commiserated with ICRC President Peter Maurer.
President Buhari told Liman’s father that the government did everything possible to save his daughter’s life.
The Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to the President, Garba Shehu, in a statement, quoted the President as saying that all the efforts to save Hauwa were unsuccessful.
He regretted that her commitment to helping victims of the Boko Haram insurgency ended in such a brutal way.
The President praised the ICRC for the great work it had been doing in Nigeria by providing healthcare services to victims of insurgency in some of the most affected areas.
He urged the ICRC to continue its services in Nigeria, and not give up, despite the unfortunate and painful loss of its staff.
According to the President, Nigeria needs the ICRC and the government will continue to do all it can to protect the organisation’s staff and other aid workers who are providing humanitarian services in the Northeast, which has been affected by almost a decade-long conflict.
United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres called for those responsible for the killing to be brought to justice.
Guterres, in a statement issued in New York, said he was appalled, adding:
”Those responsible for this killing must be brought to justice.”
The UN chief expressed his concern for the safety and well-being of the remaining hostages and called for their immediate release.
The Secretary-General emphasised that all parties to the conflict must protect aid workers who provide life-saving humanitarian assistance to the millions of people in need in the Northeast.
Liman’s mum still could not come to terms with her death.
Speaking with Television Continental (TVC) yesterday, she expressed her belief that she was being kept somewhere and not dead.
She, however, said if indeed she had been killed, her body should be brought for proper burial.
She spoke in an emotion-laden voice to TVC in Hausa.
The mother said: “They are looking for ransom and the president promised their release and the time given was too short. In my strong belief I am very sure.my daughter is alive somewhere; they should release my daughter to me please.”
In a statement, the ICRC said: ”The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) received information indicating that Hauwa Mohammed Liman has been killed by her captors in a despicable act of cruelty.”
The U.S. condemned Liman’s killing. The U.S. embassy, in statement in Abuja, said: “We stand in solidarity with our Nigerian partners as we work to defeat ISIS-West Africa and prevent these tragedies.
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to Hauwa’s family, to her colleagues, and to those still suffering in captivity.”
Minister of Health Prof. Isaac Adewole commiserated with the family and the ICRC.
He described the murder as “callous” and “unfortunate”, saying the health workers should not be a target in any conflict zone as they are recognised as humanitarian service providers.
He prayed for the repose of Hauwa’s soul and called on Boko Haram to follow the rules of international engagement which respect the right of humanitarian workers in conflict zones.
The House of Representatives urged the Federal Government to find ways of saving Leah Sharibu and other health workers in the hands of the insurgents.
This followed a motion of urgent national importance moved by. Chike Okafor, Chairman, House committee on Health Services.
The lawmakers said the government “ should as a matter or urgency commence further negotiation for the safe release of the remaining abductees and intensify efforts in collaborating with other countries to acquire advance technology for terrorism information gathering and satellite full imagery device that can help in the fight against terrorism.”
While moving the motion, Okafor said three Nigerian citizens who were volunteer health workers for the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) were abducted March 1, 2018.
”It is unfortunate to note that despite the negotiations initiated by the Federal Government for the safe release of these innocent Nigerians, the Boko Haram sect tie this part of tragic execution of two of the victims.’
The Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) condemned Hauwa’s killing, describing it as a clear desecration of Islam, which preaches sacred inviolability of the individual. ACF described the action of the terrorists as “callous, barbaric and inhuman and totally against the tenets of Islam”.
The Forum called on the Federal Government to review its negotiation strategy with the terrorists, to ensure that the other aid worker, Leah Sharibu and the Chibok girls still in captivity are rescued and reunited with their families.
National Publicity Secretary Muhammad Ibrahim Biu said the Federal Government should no longer wait for deadline from the terrorists before taking action to rescue the captives.
The statement said: “Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) is saddened and pained by the sad news of the execution of another aid worker, Hauwa Amina Liman, by the Boko Haram terrorists on Monday.
”Hauwa and two other aid workers with International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) were abducted by the terrorists about six months ago during an attack on the military base in Rann, Borno State, and have since then been in their captivity.
“Earlier on, one of the aid workers kidnapped named Saifura Hussaini Ahmed, was killed by the terrorists on the grounds that the Federal Government (FG) failed to meet some of their demands; the same fate has befallen Hauwa.
”The action of the terrorists, to say the least, was callous, barbaric and inhuman and totally against the tenets of Islam. The killing is clear desecration of Islam, which preaches sacred inviolability of the individual.
“The Federal Government’s assurances that it has been working with some friendly countries and other international organisations to save the lives of the innocent aid workers has not yielded the desired result.
”ACF therefore urges the FG to review its negotiation strategy and ensure that the other aid worker, Leah Sharibu, and the Chibok girls still in the captivity of the Boko Haram are rescued and released to their families.
“The FG should not wait for deadline from the terrorists before taking necessary actions to rescue them. Any actions by the FG and the allies on this issue should be quick in order to assuage the fears of Nigerians of what may happen to those still in captivity.”
Atiku, Ezekwesili, BBOG, others mourn
Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate Atiku Abubakar, Allied Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN) candidate Oby Ezekwesili, and others have condemned the brutal murder Hauwa Liman.
Atiku, in a statement issued by his Campaign Organisation described the killing as an inhuman act and a crime against humanity.
He assured the parents of Hauwa Liman and Saifura Khorsa, and all Nigerians, that he would do everything within his powers to ensure that justice is served to those who committed the “heinous act.”
Dr Ezekwesili, the Co-Convener of the Bring Back Our Girls (BBOG), said: “This is heartbreaking. This should haunt us as a nation. This should haunt us as a people.
“This should deeply worry us that we failed this young woman, which we continue to fail Leah Sharibu and other young women and men and children in captivity; that we find ourselves helpless in the face of terrorists.
“Have we become a nation that cannot save the lives of its own citizens? We cannot go on like this.’’
Ezekwesili called on President Muhammadu Buhari to ensure the release of the third aid worker, Alice Loksha, who she said had endured seven months in captivity.
The BBOG in a statement by Edith Yassin, Nifemi Onifade, Gapani Yanga and read after their march to the Presidential Villa yesterday said: “Today is yet another dark day in our nation.
“The heart-breaking news of the death of Hauwa Leman comes as an extreme shock.”
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