Atiku, Senate, ICRC, others Condemn Killing
The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, in his reaction condemned the killing of Hauwa.
In a statement by his campaign organisation, he described the incident as a crime against humanity.
He said, “While nothing can bring her back, the Atiku Abubakar Presidential Campaign Organisation wishes to assure the family of the innocents, whose lives have been brutally cut short, that we will continue to work with our partners in Nigeria and the international community to ensure that those who are still in the captivity of the terrorists and their allies are rescued alive.
“We pray to Almighty God to grant the family fortitude and succour in these trying times. We also pray for God to be with our security forces and grant them every advantage over the enemies of our nation.”
Atiku called on all Nigerians to continue to support the armed forces as they take the battle to the terrorists and their sponsors.
The Senate also condemned the killing in strong terms, noting that humanitarian workers who work in crisis zones to provide necessary support for victims are most selfless and courageous persons and, therefore, should never be targets of harm.
It observed a two-minute silence in honour of Leman following a motion raised by the Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, and subsequent debate on the issue, where the Senate resolved to pay official condolence visit to the family of the deceased.
Senators further resolved to ensure that the federal government, through its security agencies, takes necessary measures to secure the freedom of both Leah Sharibu and other surviving members of the ICRC being held hostage by the insurgents.
Speaking on the resolution, Senate President Bukola Saraki said, “Distinguished Colleagues, irrespective of the decision that we have taken, I believe that our committees on defence and security, as part of their own responsibilities, should engage with the security agencies to find out if there are other issues that need to be addressed in order to prevent the reoccurrence of such sad incident.”
He also commiserated with the family of the deceased and the ICRC over the unfortunate incident and stated that the Senate would continue to work with the nation’s armed forces to stop the killings and improve security across the country.
Hauwa, 24, was killed Monday after the expiration of the deadline given to the federal government to meet certain conditions before she and her colleague as well as Sharibu could be freed.
She became the second aid worker to be killed by the terrorists who abducted three nurses and midwives from Rann, Borno State on March 1, 2018.
Saifura Hussein had earlier been killed about a month ago leaving only Alice Loksha Ngaddah as the sole person still held hostage by the terrorist group, which is a faction of the Boko Haram group.
The ICRC in a statement yesterday by its spokesperson for Nigeria, Aleksandra Mosimann said, “A second health worker held hostage in Nigeria has been murdered. It’s utterly devastating that we have to write that sentence.”
It added, “The ICRC received information indicating that Leman has been killed by her captors in a despicable act of cruelty. Hauwa is the second abducted health worker in Nigeria to be murdered in the last month.”
In a quote credited to ICRC’s Regional Director for Africa, Patricia Danz, read, “The news of Hauwa’s death has broken our hearts,” adding, “We appealed for mercy and an end to such senseless murders. How can it be that two female healthcare workers were killed back-to-back? Nothing can justify this.”
In the statement, Hauwa was described as full of life, becoming a midwife at an early age, “People who knew her described her as a sociable, dynamic and enthusiastic woman, who was much loved by family and friends. She was truly dedicated to her work helping vulnerable women in her family’s home area.”
Hauwa and Saifura worked in a health-care centre supported by the ICRC; Alice worked in a centre supported by UNICEF.
It said the ICRC made sustained and committed efforts to secure the release of the three health-care workers, including a last-minute plea for mercy last Sunday to the ISWAP group, to no avail.
“Hauwa and Saifura’s deaths are not only a tragedy for their families, but they will also be felt by thousands of people in Rann and other conflict-affected areas of North-east Nigeria where accessing healthcare remains a challenge. We urge the group holding Alice and Leah to release them safely,” Danzi was also quoted as saying.