Zainab: Reformed CAN praise Buhari over release of student from Saudi prison
Zainab, middle, with Nigerian Embassy officials in Saudi Arabia after her release from prison
The Reformed Christian Association of Nigeria (rCAN) has hailed President Muhammadu Buhari over the prompt release of Zainab Aliyu from Saudi Arabia detention.
Aliyu, a Nigerian student, was detained over illegal tramadol found in a bag labelled in her name at a Saudi airport.
On being alerted, President Buhari ordered the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), Abubakar Malami to ensure her release.
Acting on the instructions, the AGF hired lawyers on Tuesday in the gulf country to compliment the Nigerian mission in the Kingdom as well as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Barely five hours later, Zainab was set free and an utterly marvelled rCAN can’t help but applaud President Buhari.
In a statement released on Wednesday to Apex News, the Interim President, Pastor Enoch Atumeyi, the group was particularly impressed by the president’s speedy response in a case that would have potentially led to death penalty.
According to the statement, “The Reformed Christian Association of Nigeria (rCAN) is commends President Muhammadu Buhari over the reprieve he got for a Nigerian, Zainab Aliyu, who was being held and facing the prospect of execution in Saudi Arabia over drug running charges.
“The freedom procured for Zainab should be a platform from which to launch the primacy of the Nigerian life globally such that Nigerian anywhere in the world are reassured that they will never be left alone.
“rCAN makes this charge in the confidence and knowledge that President Buhari secured Zainab’s release not because himself and the young woman are both Muslims neither did the ease of with which the outcome was achieved has anything to do with Saudi Arabia being an Islamic country. The same result would have been gotten from any other country – Islamic, Christian, polytheist, or secular – so long as the government of such country recognizes the ongoing reforms that have set Nigeria on the path of becoming an axis of influence.
“We appreciate Mr. President and his proactive efforts that delivered a positive intervention, which freed Zainab. Her experience is a wake-up call on the Federal Government to decisively go after the cartels and syndicates that place innocent Nigerians in harm’s way by sneaking illicit drugs into their luggage, particularly the cartel discovered to be operating at the Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport, Kano,” rCAN noted.
The Christian group, however, stated that the work doesn’t end there for the Federal Government and suggested that all hands must be on deck to ensure the release of other Nigerians languishing in various Saudi detentions.
Besides, the statement stressed that as an interim measure, the authorities should to carry out enlightenment campaigns with advisory to intending passengers on how to handle their luggages to prevent becoming unwilling drug couriers.
“We are however appalled by the reaction of the Northern Chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), which attempted to muddle the issues by dragging in Leah Sharibu, the Chibok secondary school girl, and others who are in Boko Haram’s captivity.
“CAN’s statement to this effect is a misplacement of priority and further confirmation that it has deviated from its founding objective of evangelism to the extent that it is no longer able to see an individual human being first as a creation of God before ascribing religion and other biases to them,” rCAN noted.