Mark, Maina, Emir condemn killings
By Onwuka Nzeshi in Abuja and Michael Olugbode in Damaturu
Barely a day after nine health workers were killed in Kano by suspected members of the Boko Haram, the sect has killed another three North Koreans in the troubled Potiskum, the commercial capital of Yobe State.
Sources in the town informed THISDAY that members of the sect invaded the residence of the expatriates who were giving technical assistance to the Yobe State Ministry of Health at about 8.pm on Saturday.
It was gathered that after forcing their way into the residence located in one of the choicest parts of the town, they went directly for the three expatriates killing them instantly.
According to a resident of the town who spoke to THISDAY on phone, the three North Koreans, a female and two male, were doctors.
The Saturday’s killings of the three expatriates brought to 10, the number of Asians killed in both Borno and Yobe States since the Boko Haram insurgence started.
Some construction workers had in the past been killed in the two states.
One of the residents of Potiskum, a town where the deadliest of the Boko Haram attacks had taken place especially the cattle market massacre, said the killing of three North Koreans was indeed a minus to the government’s efforts at ending the Boko Haram crisis in the northern part of the country.
He noted that the killings of the foreigners especially those bringing technical assistance to the country by the Islamic militants in Borno and Yobe States would only add to drawing back the hands of the clock of progress in the two states.
The Yobe State Commissioner of Police, Alhaji Sanusi Rufai, who confirmed the killings to journalists, said the North Korean citizens who were in the state to help the people with their expertise, was unfortunate and promised to fish out the perpetrators of the crime.
Meanwhile, the President of the Senate, Senator David Mark, has condemned both killings in Kano and Yobe States.
Mark, who described the incidents as barbaric and sacriligeous, said it was unimaginable that those who were offering services to save lives were themselves murdered in cold blood.
He tasked security agents to do the needful to fish out the perpetrators of the crime.
He said something had gone wrong with the society for Nigeria to witness such inhuman acts.
According to him, such unprovoked attacks and unwarranted killings must not be swept under the carpet.
He therefore charged the security operatives to redouble their efforts not only to fish out the perpetrators of the heinous crime but to effectively secure lives and property in the country.
Mark argued that no matter the amount of anger in a man’s mind, killing or taking the life of another cannot be a solution.
He noted that there were enough channels for any aggrieved person to seek redress rather than resort to violence.
Security agencies, he stressed, must collaborate with each other in order to properly police the society.
Also, the Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Mrs. Zainab Maina, has condemned what she described as the “shameless and cowardly” murder of nine female health workers in Kano, noting that even in worse situations, women and children have never been direct targets for attacks.
Maina, in a statement issued in Abuja yesterday, said the attack on the female immunisation workers in Kano was not only an attack on the collective responsibility of Nigerians to secure a healthy future for the children, but an attack on humanity.
“It is most disheartening that in spite of efforts by the government at all levels to come to the aid of the people, especially vulnerable groups, there still exist heartless and insensitive individuals and groups who are bent on unleashing mayhem and pain especially on those dedicated to the protection of lives and property as well as well-meaning Nigerians who innocently go about their businesses,” she said.
The minister, on behalf of Nigerian women, condemned the killings and called for mass action to address the issue of terrorism to save the nation’s future.
She reiterated the commitment of the Federal Government to fight against maternal and child mortality, noting that the murder would gear the government to ensure that the efforts of the murdered women are not in vain.
“I salute the resilience exhibited by the frontline workers who have re-stated their resolve to remain undeterred by Friday’s attacks,” Maina added, appealing to security agencies to unmask the perpetrators of the heinous crime.
She also tasked religious, traditional and community leaders to put more effort into educating the populace against the myth that the polio vaccines are harmful and cause sterility in men.
Also, the Emir of Fika and Chairman, Yobe State Council of Chiefs, Dr. Mohammad Ibn Abali Muhammad Idris immediately condemned the killings under his domain.
He said the killings do not speak well of his people who are known for their hospitality, pointing out that it was more condemnable as the people of the town and surrounding areas have always enjoyed the health services provided by the North Koreans.
The ruler said: “It is sad and unfortunate, it has touched us.