Hauwa Liman and Alice Ngaddah were kidnapped by the terrorists
On Thursday, 1st March, 2018, the Islamic State affiliate in West Africa (ISWAP), also known as Boko Haram attacked and overran a heavily guarded military facility in the small town of Rann in Northern Borno state. The invading forces wreaked remarkable havoc, with scores of casualties on soldiers and international aid workers. Three persons, a nurse and two midwives, connected with the work of some international aid agencies in the Lake Chad region were kidnapped.
The ISWA forces also carted away military hardwares, arms and ammunition from the military base. It is not certain the exact casualty figures to the army. But a gory image of soldiers shot at close range, with hands tied behind their backs, days after the attack suggested that the terror group overran the facility.
Also, a frantic audio recording by one of the kidnapped midwife confirmed the barbaric onslaught. Following this, UNICEF, one of the international aid agencies involved in health and crisis mitigation activities in the Lake Chad region released a statement on its website affirming that “one of these brave workers who lost their lives, and the nurse who is missing, were on the front line providing critical services supported by UNICEF.” UNICEF’s statement did not disclose the identity of the kidnapped nurse who was working at its instance. She is Mrs. Alice Loksha Ngaddah, mother of two. Our enquiry further revealed that Mrs. Ngaddah’s aged mother died unexpectedly, two weeks ago as a result of trauma over her daughter’s kidnap by the terror group.
Documents obtained by this reporter from ISWAP sources paint the picture of one working for and being paid by UNICEF, an impression that is at variance with the portrait quoted from UNICEF website. Efforts to get the family members to respond to this reporter’s questions fell on deaf ears as no one in Ngaddah family was willing to talk openly. Nevertheless, neighbours close to the family and who have borne the trauma with them mentioned that UNICEF personnel were on the ground at the funeral of Mrs Ngaddah’s mother and frequently updated the family on its efforts to address the situation. The other two victims, namely Hauwa Mohammed Liman and Saifura Husseini Ahmed have had members of their families claiming that they had been engaged through a contract by the International Committee of the Red Cross, ICRC, arguing that it was at the instance of the Committee that Liman and Ahmed were at the location of the kidnap.
Two of Miss Liman’s colleagues in Maiduguri, also working as field health workers spoke with this reporter, highlighting a presumed dichotomy between the privileges generously enjoyed by the expatriate personnel as against the short end of the sticks that local staff are left with. “We’re disturbed because if this kidnap incidence affected any foreign staff, it will be all over the place while efforts are made for their release.”
Their sentiment underline the curious silence pervade the Kidnap incidence both from the international aid agencies as well as from the Federal government. “We, the local staff takes far more risks because we are the only ones who can go to where our foreign colleagues cannot dare,” argued Liman’s colleagues. A diplomat with a UN agency in Abuja who will not be named laid the cards bare, “the only reason we are arguing whether or not those abducted were employed directly by UNICEF or ICRC is because they are not expatriates.”
Investigations reveal that the entire health care value chain in several states in the North East had been rendered bare without staffing and equipment, forcing an army of underpaid and unmotivated health personnel to seek out alternative offers. Accordingly, in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe, many health workers either directly or through third party consultants secure jobs with international aid agencies or Non Governmental Organization. Family members of Liman and Ahmed seemed surprised by suggestions that they were not ICRC staff. “We are under the impression that our daughter was employed and being paid by the
ICRC. That’s the only reason why we allowed her to work on her own because the ICRC is a globally respected organization,” said sources in Liman’s family house.
Dr. Chidi Anselm Odinkalu, former chairman, National Human Rights Commission, when approached for insight stated: “I can’t speak generally, whatever I say is limited by the fact and context of the individual contractual agreement. Most of the major institutions in this situation are agents of entities that often have diplomatic immunity. So there sub-contractors of say UNDP, UN Agencies to whom diplomatic cover extends to preclude them from direct legal responsibility and also because of their insurance limitations.” He pointed out that a lot of Nigerians under the circumstances whereby “economic duress puts the local staff at a disadvantage to negotiating for the best possible contract.”
Sources within ISWAP confirm that the health workers are alive and are in good condition, but are unwilling to link their release to any condition or time frame. ICRC official that this reporter contacted stated that “even though they were not employed by us, we at ICRC are concerned for the two midwives as they worked alongside us. We demanded that they be released immediately and unconditionally,” stated the ICRC’s communications coordinator in the region, Aleksandra Matijevic Mosimann. She further stated that given the sensitive nature of the situation and in the best interest of the kidnapped persons, they were not obligated to provide further details.
–By Ahmed Salkida
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Illegal Abortions Responsible For Mysterious Deaths In Bauchi: State Govt
Bauchi State Government has revealed that the mysterious deaths recorded in the State has been as a result of illegal abortions.
An investigation carried out by the Bauchi State Primary Healthcare Development Agency has revealed that illegal abortion by unqualified medical practitioners is the cause of mysterious deaths in Azare and other local government areas in the northern part of the state.
According to reports, no fewer than 200 women have died in Bauchi as a result of this and there are projections that the number could be more at the end of the investigation.
The Executive Chairman of the agency, Dr Rilwanu Mohammed, disclosed this Friday, May 29, at an interactive session organized by the Bauchi State Public Health Media Network.
Mohammed said the deaths resulted from unwanted and unplanned pregnancies by both married and unmarried women of childbearing ages who, after becoming pregnant, visited quack health workers to terminate the pregnancies.
He said the lack of understanding of the importance of child spacing as well as ignorance of what to do with such pregnancies had become a major problem to family health in the state.
He emphasized the need for adequate sex education for the girl-child by parents, particularly mothers, to reduce unwanted pregnancies, thereby reducing deaths from complications.
Ondo Govt Arraigns Suspected Killers Of Funke Olakunrin
The Ondo State Government has arraigned four men suspected to have killed Mrs Funke Olakunrin, the daughter of the National Leader of Afenifere, Pa Reuben Fasoranti.
Recall that it was earlier reported that the Nigeria Police Force handed over the suspects to the State Government.
They are Lawal Mazaje from the Felele area of Kogi State, Adamu Adamu from Jada area of Adamawa State, Mohammed Usman from Illela area of Sokoto State, and Auwal Abubakar from Shinkafi area of Zamfara State.
The suspects were arraigned on Friday by the government at a Chief Magistrate Court sitting in Akure.
Lagos Govt To Shutdown Markets Violating Social Distancing Order
The Lagos State Government has threatened to shut down markets in the State violating the social distancing order.
The Corps Marshal, Lagos State Environmental Sanitation Corps (LAGESC), Gbemisola Akinpelu, gave the warning on Monday at the Command Headquarters in the Oshodi area of the state.
In a statement issued by the Head, Public Affairs Unit of LAGESC, Adebayo Kehinde noted that the order is coming from the State Ministry of Environment.
He reiterated the commitment of the agency to monitor markets across the state to ensure that the directive of the government is being adhered to strictly.
He urged the traders to maintain environmental cleanliness around the markets and stop trading on road setbacks and drainage.
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