A faction of Boko Haram, the Islamic State West Africa Province, has reportedly executed an aid worker with the International Committee of the Red Cross, Hauwa Liman.
TheCable quoted a source close to the insurgents as saying that they murdered Liman following the failure of the government to negotiate the release of the deceased and her colleague, Alice Loksha.
It said that the terrorists also promised to keep the Dapchi schoolgirl, Leah Sharibu, as ‘a slave for life.’
The insurgents had in September killed a nurse with the ICRC, Saifura Khorsa, who was abducted alongside Liman and Loksha in Rann, Borno State on March 1.
Khorsa was shot in the back and a video of the gruesome murder was posted online by the insurgents who further threatened to kill another ICRC worker if the government failed to negotiate their freedom.
The ICRC had on Sunday expressed anxiety over the deadline issued by the sect and appealed to the Federal Government and influential Nigerians to assist with the release of the workers.
It noted that the deadline could result in the execution of Liman and Loksha, and begged Boko Haram to spare their lives.
The ICRC spokesman, Aleksandra Mosimann, could not be reached for comment on Monday as calls to his line indicated that it was unavailable.
Commenting on the development, the BringBackOurGirls spokesman, Nifemi Onifade, said the situation might have been different if the government had yielded to the demands of the coalition for the urgent release of the captives through a military operation, negotiation or combination of both.
He expressed apprehension over the fate of the Chibok girls, Leah Sharibu, and others in Boko Haram captivity.
Onifade said, “The government could have rescued them through a military operation, negotiate for their release or use the combination of the two. There was clearly a present threat to the girls in captivity, so why didn’t the government take the necessary action? The killings could have been averted.”
“We don’t have any evidence that they won’t keep committing such atrocities, so we have to assume based on their track record, based on what they have done in the past that our Chibok girls, Leah Sharibu, as well as Alice Loksha of UNICEF, who are still in captivity, who are facing similar threats, we can’t expect that the terrorists would change their mind and behave differently,” he noted.
The coalition said it had earlier on Monday dispatched a letter to President Muhammadu Buhari about the need for a quick rescue of the hostages, adding that the tone of its planned protest would be different following the reported killing of Liman.
“We were hoping against hope that it would not come to this. Sadly this development has come up, so the nature and tone of our march tomorrow will be different. The outcome might have been different if they had yielded to our demands,” the BBOG spokesman said.
Meanwhile, the Federal Government has said it is shocked and saddened at the killing of another aid worker by Boko Haram on Monday, despite the actions taken by the government and the widespread appeal to save the young woman.
In a statement issued in London on Monday, the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, described the killing as dastardly, inhuman and ungodly, saying nothing could 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.
He said, ‘’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.”
He 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.
Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar, has called on the Federal Government to immediately rescue Leah Sharibu from the grips of Boko Haram before it is too late.
Atiku said this via his Twitter handle while reacting to the killing of Leman by the terrorist organisation.
He said, “I’m deeply saddened by the murder of Hauwa Leman, an ICRC aid worker, by terrorists.
“I implore the Federal Government to deploy every reasonable tool at its disposal to bring Leah Sharibu and all the children in Boko Haram captivity home.”