Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has issued a 24-hour ultimatum to the Federal Government to quickly secure the release of Azurfa Lois John, a 21-year-old Christian, who was one of the victims of the Kaduna-Abuja train attack.
A statement issued by HURIWA’s National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, on Saturday, noted that failure to secure the release of the victim, who has been in captivity for about five months, will attract a severe legal tussle.
It said the group would not hesitate to sue the Federal Government and report the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari to the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom.
The group warned that the case of Lois must not become another Leah Sharibu who has been in captivity since February 19, 2018 when Islamic State West Africa Province, ISWAP, fighters attacked the Government Girls Science and Technical School in Dapchi, Yobe State.
HURIWA’s warning followed a report by Tukur Mamu, media consultant to controversial Islamic cleric, Ahmad Gumi, that a top bandit commander is planning to marry Lois, who is said to be “the youngest victim of the March 28 train attack”.
Mamu, who is negotiating between the terrorists and families of victims, also said the terrorists threatened to do to Lois the same thing they had done to Leah if her parents and the government fail to pay a N100 million ransom to secure her release on time.
According to the rights group, “The report by Tukur Mamu, so-called media consultant to controversial Islamic cleric, Ahmad Gumi, is unsavoury and should not be taken lightly.
“HURIWA gives the Federal Government of Nigeria 24 hours to secure the release of 21-year-old Azurfa Lois John, said to be the only young Christian victim and lady among the hostages. The government must take both non-kinetic and kinetic actions (as attested to by presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu) to secure her prompt release.
“The threat by ISWAP fighters to marry off Lois to one of their top commanders is a testament to longstanding belief that terrorists are advancing the agenda of Islam and are untouchable but tolerated by the present Fulani government hence their multiplication and continued despoilation.
“The regime of President Muhammadu Buhari failed Leah Sharibu. It must not fail Azurfa Lois John. Nigerians won’t take another slap on the Christian community. The Christian Association of Nigeria and persons of noble conscience must exert pressure on Federal Government to secure the release of Lois as soon as possible.
“HURIWA is by this statement putting the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom on notice of the religious violations going on under President Buhari and the allegedly conspiratorial silence of the northern elite”.