The Federal Government yesterday expressed shock over the killing of another aid worker by Boko Haram abductors.
The Islamists made good their threat by killing Hauwa Leman, who worked with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).
The organisatio on Sunday raised the alarm that the Boko Haram faction had threatened to kill the two aid workers in their custody within 24 hours.
The Geneva-based ICRC, which often works behind the scenes for humanitarian goals in war zones, identified the kidnappers as members of ISWA – Islamic State’s offshoot in West Africa. “Speed and urgency are critical. A deadline that could result in the killing of another healthcare worker is less than 24 hours away,” the ICRC said.
Medical workers Hauwa Mohammed Liman and Alice Loksha were working in the Borno State town of Rann when they were kidnapped along with ICRC midwife Saifura Hussaini Ahmed Khorsa, who was killed in September, the ICRC said in a statement.
ISWAP, in a statement, quoted by The Cable said: “We have kept our word exactly as we said, by killing another humanitarian worker, Hauwa Leman, who is working with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) that were abducted during a raid on a military facility in Rann, Kala Balge in March 2018.
“Saifura and Hauwa were killed because they are considered as Murtads (apostates) by the group because they were once Muslims that have abandoned their Islam, the moment they chose to work with the Red Cross, and for us, there is no difference between Red Cross and UNICEF.
“If we see them, we will kill the apostates among them, men or women, and chose to kill or keep the infidels as slaves, men or women.”
The ISWAP also threatened to keep Leah Sharibu as a slave.
Minister of Information Lai Mohammed in a statement issued in London by his media adviser Segun Adeyemi described the killing as “dastardly, inhuman and ungodly,” saying nothing can justify the shedding of the blood of innocent people.
The minister also commiserated with the family of the aid worker, saying the Federal Government did all within its powers to save her life.
”It is very unfortunate that it has come to this. Before and after the deadline issued by her abductors, the Federal Government did everything any responsible government should do to save the aid worker.
”As we have been doing since these young women were abducted, we kept the line of negotiations open all through. In all the negotiations, we acted in the best interest of the women and the country as a whole.
”We are deeply pained by this killing, just like we were by the recent killing of the first aid worker. However, we will keep the negotiations open and continue to work to free the innocent women who remain in the custody of their abductors,” the Minister said.
“He thanked all the friendly governments that have continued to work with Nigeria for the safe release of the abducted women, and the clerics across religious lines who have been pleading for their release.”