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Father pays moving tribute to killed midwife

Hauwa Liman
ICRC/EPA
Hauwa Liman upheld the Islamic principle of "selfless service", her father says

The father of Nigerian midwife Hauwa Liman, who was shot dead execution-style by militant Islamists, has paid a moving tribute to her, saying she had had been of "immense help" to her community and he had no regrets about letting her work in a dangerous area.

A Boko Haram offshoot, the Islamic State of West Africa Group (Iswap), said on Monday it had killed Ms Liman, 24, because the government had failed to meet its demands, and she had "abandoned" Islam by working for the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in the town of Rann in north-eastern Nigerian's Borno state, the epicentre of militant activity.

In an interview with AFP news agency, Mohammed Liman said:

Hauwa was a trained midwife and we decided that she went there [to Rann] to help people who badly needed her service.

Rann was also her home: her uncle and aunt still live there. She proved to be of immense help to the community in the 10 days she served in Rann.

Despite what happened I have no regret that she went to Rann and offered humanitarian service. She really helped the community within these days."

Mohammed, the father of the killed Nigerian aid worker Hauwa Liman poses in Maiduguri on October 16, 2018
AFP
Mohammed Liman says the family is praying for those in captivity

The militants also killed another midwife, Saifura Ahmed Khorsa, a month earlier.

A third aid worker, Alice Loksha, from the UN children's agency Unicef, is still in captivity, following the abduction of the three in March from Rann.

A Christian schoolgirl, Leah Sharibu, who was seized in February from the town of Dapchi in Yobe state, is also being held by Nigerian militants.

Mr Liman accused the militants of "sheer deception", saying they had "made up their mind to kill Hauwa and Saifura no matter what effort would have been made to save them".

He added:

I don't know what Islam the killers of Hauwa and Saifura practise. I don't know where they get this notion that working for the ICRC and Unicef is punishable with death.

The Islam we know encourages humanitarian and selfless service to those in need.

I pray to Allah for Alice and Leah's release. They are in my thoughts and prayers."

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