President Muhammadu Buhari Tuesday spoke with Mohammed Liman, father of 24 year old Hauwa Liman, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) midwife who was slain by Boko Haram terrorists.
In a telephone call, President Buhari, according to a statement by Garba Shehu, his Senior Special Assistant
(Media and Publicity), commiserated with the family and assured Miss Liman’s father that the Nigerian government did everything possible to save his daughter’s life, expressing sadness that all the efforts turned out unsuccessful.
He regretted that her commitment to helping victims of the Boko Haram insurgency ended in such a brutal way.
President Buhari also spoke with Peter Maurer, the President of the ICRC, extending condolences on the loss of the midwife.
The President commended the ICRC for the great work they had been doing in Nigeria by providing healthcare services to victims of insurgency in some of the most affected areas.
President Buhari appealed to the ICRC to continue their services in Nigeria, and not give up, despite the unfortunate and painful loss of their staff.
According to the President, Nigeria needs the ICRC and the government will continue to do all it can to protect staff of the organisation and other aid workers that are providing much-needed humanitarian services in the North East region, which had been affected by almost a decade-long conflict.
Meanwhile, the International Committee of the Red Cross has made a fresh appeal to Boko Haram to release the two remaining hostages being held by them: Alice Loksha, who was working for UNICEF and Leah Sharibu, the Dapchi schoolgirl kidnapped February 19.
ICRC Regional Director for Africa, Patricia Danzi made the appeal Tuesday, more than 24 hours after the terrorists killed the second Red Cross worker in their custody, Hauwa Mohammed Liman, ‘in what the ICRC described as ” an act of despicable cruelty”.
On September 26, the terrorists killed their first Red Cross hostage, Saifura Hussaini Ahmed Khorsa, drawing national and global condemnations.
On Sunday, the ICRC in a video made an 11th hour appeal to the Nigerian government and religious leaders to speedily intervene to save Hauwa, as the deadline for her execution by Boko Haram abductors loomed.
The appeal did not stop the terrorists from carrying out their threat.
“Hauwa and Saifura’s deaths are not only a tragedy for their families, but to thousands of people in Rann and other conflict-affected areas of north-east Nigeria where accessing health care remains a challenge.
“We urge the group holding Alice and Leah to release them safely,” said Danzi.
Hauwa, together with Saifura Hussaini Ahmed Khorsa and Alice Loksha were abducted by Boko Haram from IDP camp in the north-eastern town of Rann on March 1.
Alice, who worked in a centre supported by UNICEF remains in captivity, along with Leah Sharibu, the 15 year old student abducted by the group from Government Girls’ Science and Technical College, in Dapchi, Yobe state, along with 109 schoolmates. While Boko Haram freed the rest of the girls in March, they held on to Leah because she refused to renounce her Christian faith.
“The news of Hauwa’s death has broken our hearts”, said Danzi.
“We appealed for mercy and an end to such senseless murders. How can it be that two female health care workers were killed back-to-back? Nothing can justify this.
“Hauwa, 24, was full of life, became a midwife at an early age and people who knew her described her as a sociable, dynamic and enthusiastic woman who was loved by family and friends.
“She was truly dedicated to her work helping vulnerable women in her family’s home area,” she added.
Aleksandra Mosimann, Communications Coordinator, ICRC, said the organisation received the information that Hauwa was killed in a despicable act of cruelty.