The governor of Kano State, Abdullahi Ganduje; the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria; and members of the civil society have commended the federal government for securing the release of Zainab Aliyu.
Ms Aliyu, a student of the Maitama Sule University, Kano, was arrested and detained on arrival late December by the Saudi Arabian authorities for being in possession of an illegal drug believed to be Tramadol.
A petition filed by Ms Aliyu’s family led to the National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) discovery of a drug cartel at the Mallam Amino Kano International Airport (MAKIA), where Ms Aliyu had travelled through.
This cartel specialises in setting illegal drugs in travellers’ luggage.
The governor of Kano State, Abdullahi Ganduje, through a statement released by the state commissioner of information, Mohammed Garba, commended the release of Aliyu.
The governor also welcomed confirmation by the Nigerian Mission in the Kingdom that the second Nigerian involved in a similar case would be released to the Nigerian Embassy in Saudi Arabia on Wednesday.
He, however, stressed the need for vigilance at the various airports in the country in order to protect Nigerians from falling prey to such cartels.
Also, the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON), through its spokesperson, Fatima Usara, commended the federal government.
Ms Usara said the commission appreciates the unwavering drive by the Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs towards securing the pilgrim’s release from prison.
“Equally, NAHCON hails all the efforts by our various missions in Saudi Arabia towards achieving the same objective.
“Also commendable is the government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for honouring the investigations carried out to prove the victim’s innocence.
She also warned that travellers should be vigilant over their luggage as the peak of Ramadan Umrah is approaching.
The head of the Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Center (CISLAC), Auwal Rafsanjani, decried the lack of modern technology at the airports.
According to him, the government can spare the travellers from being embarrassed on arrival by Customs by simply getting a modest screening machine that would search luggage.
He also emphasised the need for travellers to be conscious of their luggage.
Tope Fasua, a political reformer, while commending the government registered his displeasure with Nigerians being taken for granted while travelling outside the country.
According to him, a lot of Nigerians have been unjustly convicted and are suffering in different jails in the world.
“We are actually becoming perhaps the most notorious country for that phenomenon in the world and that makes me unhappy.”
Reactions from Nigerians online
Several Nigerians also went on social media to commend the government for their action.
— Nura Ahmad Dakata (@abumualleem) April 30, 2019
Transmission or no transmission. Private visit or no private visit. President @MBuhari recorded his biggest Diplomatic Victory this week by securing Zainab Aliyu from Saudi Arabia’s hangman noose or chopping board#ZainabFreed #ZainabAliyu
— Tunde Eneji (@iameneji) May 1, 2019
Relieving News! #ZainabAliyu has been released.
Praise be to Allah!
Thank U President Buhari.
Thank U Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Conscience has won!
It’s very fair if we extradite the 7 criminals who exposed Zainab to danger, & almost made Saudi commit a regrettable execution.
— Idris Obadaki (@Icedris) April 30, 2019
— fab bee (@BrendaEbyslady) May 1, 2019