The UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria, Mr. Edward Kallon, has condemned the killing of an aid worker and midwife, Saifura Hussaini Ahmed Khorsa in northeast Nigeria.
Ms. Hussaini, 25 years old, was abducted on 1 March 2018 in Rann town, Borno State, where she was working with the International Committee of the Red Cross, following a deadly attack by a Non-State Armed Group in which three aid workers were killed.
Two other female aid workers were also kidnapped during that incident.
“The killing of Ms. Hussaini, a young, dedicated and passionate midwife and humanitarian, is a cowardly, heinous and despicable act,” said Mr Kallon.
“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. 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,” added Mr. Kallon.
The humanitarian community is currently providing life-saving assistance, including food, safe water and medicine, to over 60,000 internally displaced people in the camp in Rann, and millions more across the northeast.
The humanitarian crisis in Nigeria’s north-east, that has spilled over into the Lake Chad region, is one of the most severe in the world today, with 7.7 million people in need of humanitarian assistance in 2018 in the worst-affected states of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe, and 6.1 million targeted for humanitarian assistance.
More people have condemned the killing of Saifura Hussaini with many Nigerians describing the move by the sect as callous.
President Buhari in a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, in Abuja on Monday described the killing of aid worker as heinous and despicable.
The statement read: “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 extends condolences to the family of Saifura, the Red Cross and UNICEF over the loss of the “selfless and hardworking mother.’’
The Senate President, Bukola Saraki has also condemned the act, saying the killing of aid workers, who choose to go into troubled spots, both in Nigeria and around the world, represents a new low by the insurgents, as humanitarian workers are some of the most courageous and selfless people on the planet.
“My thoughts and prayers are with the family and loved ones of Saifura Hussaini Ahmed Khorsa — the young 25-year old female international aid worker who was abducted and killed by Boko Haram. Such horrific actions must have no place in Nigeria. I join all Nigerians and the international community in condemning this killing in the strongest possible terms. Humanitarian workers who save lives are not targets. The continued abduction of the late Saifura’s colleagues, Hauwa and Alice, by the militants, alongside the captivity of the young Dapchi schoolgirl, Leah Sharibu, must end.”