Updated: March 3, 2021
Presidentshould get all the accolades for the release of a Nigerian, Miss Zainab Aliyu by the Saudi Arabian authorities, according to the Buhari Media Organisation (BMO).
It will be recalled that Miss Aliyu, a student of Maitama Sule University, Kano was detained in Saudi Arabia where she had travelled to for the Islamic lesser hajj. The young Nigerian was alleged to be in possession of banned substances, an offence punishable by beheading in Saudi Arabia
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In a statement by the Chairman and Secretary of the organisation, Niyi Akinsiju and Cassidy Madueke respectively, BMO noted that barely 24 hours after the President issued the directive to his aides to ensure her release, Miss Aliyu was released. Investigation by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) had earlier found out that she was innocent of the alleged crime, consequent upon which she was released to the Nigerian Mission in Saudi Arabia.
The group said the action of the President demonstrates that he considers Nigerians all over the world, irrespective of the place and status, as deserving of the welfare and protection of government, especially where their innocence is established.
“Times without number, President Buhari has demonstrated his leadership and steadfastness in responding to issues that affect the welfare and security of Nigerians both within and outside the country. It is therefore not a surprise to us that he quickly issued a directive to the Attorney-General to secure the release of Zainab Aliyu, immediately the matter was brought to his notice.”
While commending the President for his prompt intervention, the group calls for the immediate prosecution of members of the cartel that planted and tagged the banned substance in Zainab Aliyu’s name.
BMO describes the action of the cartel as the height of man’s inhumanity to man especially knowing that the result of their action is outright death.
“Apart from ensuring that every single individual involved in this heinous crime is given the maximum sentence prescribed by law, upon conviction, so as to serve as deterrent to others, the relevant authorities must extend their investigations to ensure that there are no other innocent Nigerians suffering similar fate in Saudi Arabia or elsewhere.
“It is barbaric that a group of people who know that countries like Saudi Arabia stipulate death sentence for any traveller found with banned substance, yet still went ahead to plant the substance in a bag that is not her’s, and tagged it to her name.
“It did not even matter to these people that the said girl is innocent. They were only interested in the benefit they would derive if the baggage had scaled through to its intended destination.”
BMO therefore called on Nigerians to imbibe the spirit of nationalism and let change truly begin with them.
“Apart from the evil of implicating a fellow Nigerian in crime she knows nothing about, it pays no one to involve in any form of crime, especially one in a foreign country where the penalty is capital punishment.