A Boko Haram faction identified as the Islamic State West African Province, ISWAP, has executed Hauwa Mohammed Liman, an aid worker with the International Committee of the Red Cross, ICRC.
She was reportedly forced to kneel down, hands tied, and shot at close range, even as the Nigerian government expressed shock and sadness at the Monday killing.
ISWAP, in a short statement, 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 government said the aid worker was killed despite the actions taken by the government and the widespread appeal to save the young woman.
Liman, Alice Loksha and the abducted Dapchi schoolgirl, Leah Sharibu were among those being held by ISWAP.
Leah Sharibu was kidnapped on February 19, 2018 alongside scores of her schoolmates in Dapchi, Yobe State.
She is the only Christian among the 110 girls abducted at the Government Girls’ Science and Technical College, Dapchi, Yobe state, on February 19, 2018.
While other girls were released, she was kept back because she refused to renounce her Christian faith.
Meanwhile, Liman and her colleague, Loksha, were seized by Boko Haram in Rann, Borno State, on March 1, 2018.
A third ICRC worker, Saifura Hussaini Ahmed Khorsa, abducted at the same time, was executed in September.
After the September murder of Khorsa, the Boko Haram terrorists released a video threatening to kill Ms Liman and Leah Sharibu.
There was bated breath as the deadline by ISWAP for the execution of Liman and Alice passed yesterday. Some online media however reported that only Liman was killed.
ISWAP however threatened to keep Sharibu as a slave.
The group said in the statement that Alice Ngaddah, a Christian who works with UNICEF, will also be kept as a slave.
“From today”, ISWAP said, Sharibu, 15, and Ngaddah, a mother of two, “are now our slaves”.
“Based on our doctrines, it is now lawful for us to do whatever we want to do with them,” the group further said.
Leah’s mother, Mrs. Rebecca Sharibu, had recently made a passionate appeal to the Federal Government to ensure her daughter’s release.
In a statement issued in London on Monday, the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, described Monday’s killing as “dastardly, inhuman and ungodly”, saying nothing can justify the shedding of the blood of innocent people.
He commiserated with the family of the aid worker, and said 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.
Mohammed 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.