By Ismaila Chafe, Lizzy Okoji
Abuja, Sept. 17, 2018
President Muhammadu Buhari has condemned and described as heinous and despicable, the killing of Ms Saifura Hussaini Khorsa, an aid worker, by the Boko Haram terrorists
Khorsa, who worked for the Red Cross, was kidnapped about six months ago at the Rann camp for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Borno by Boko Haram terrorists.
The president made the condemnation in a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, in Abuja on Monday.
The terrorists have equally threatened to harm others, including the lone Dapchi school girl, Leah Sharibu still in their custody.
In his reaction, President Buhari said: “The government of Nigeria strongly condemns this reprehensible and inhuman act. No religion permits the killing of the innocent.
“Saifura worked for the Red Cross, a humanitarian organisation tirelessly working to bring succor to all the victims of violence irrespective of the sides of the conflict.’’
The President, therefore, appealed to Nigeria’s international partners and everyone with an influence on the terrorists to prevail on them “to stop these acts of extreme barbarism.”
Buhari further assured that his administration would seize “every given opportunity, with both hands and to use all means available to bring home all citizens being held against their will by the Boko Haram terrorists.’’
The President, on behalf of his family, the government and people of Nigeria extended condolences to the family of Saifura, the Red Cross and UNICEF over the loss of the “selfless and hardworking mother.’’
Also, the United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria, Mr Edward Kallon, has condemned the killing of worker and Hussaini.
Mrs Samantha Newport, Head of Communications, UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA), made this known in a statement on Monday in Abuja.
Kallon said that 25-year old Hussaini, a staff of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) was abducted on March 1, in Rann, Borno.
The UN Humanitarian Coordinator said that Hussaini was kidnapped alongside two other female aid workers, following a deadly attack by a Non-State Armed Group in which three other aid workers were killed.
“The killing of Ms. Hussaini, a young, dedicated and passionate midwife and humanitarian, is a cowardly, heinous and despicable act.
“Our deepest condolences go to her family, including her two young children, and friends.
“The United Nations calls on authorities to ensure the perpetrators are brought to justice and account.
He called for immediate release of other aid workers, and reiterated commitment of international community to assist the North/East region.
“The United Nations also calls for the immediate release of the two aid workers who are still being held.
“This incident demonstrates the severe challenges that Nigeria continues to face, but will not deter the international community from providing aid to millions of Nigerians caught up in the conflict in the North-East.
“The United Nations stands in solidarity with the humanitarian community,” Kallon said.
He said the humanitarian community is currently providing life-saving assistance, including food, safe water and medicine, to over 60,000 internally displaced people in in Rann Camp and millions more in the region.
He said that about 3,000 aid workers were present in the North-East, majority of who are Nigerian nationals.
Kallon said that the humanitarian crisis in Nigeria’s North-East, which has spilled into the Lake Chad region, was one of the most severe in the world today.
He said that about 7.7 million people were in need of humanitarian assistance in 2018 in the worst-affected states of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe, and 6.1 million were targeted for humanitarian assistance.