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Some heroes are well known, some are barely known, barely heard of, barely recognized, and hardly acknowledged, except by the direct recipients of their goodwill. Hauwa Mohammed Liman could as well be just another name on any roaster, or in any northern household in Nigeria. But ‘this’ Hauwa Mohammed Liman is not just another name, (and while we are aware and realize that there is a possibility of several people bearing that name, ‘this’ Hauwa Mohammed Liman is a special one in a special way), she is a Hero in every sense of the word; able to learn, willing to serve, open to death. Able to learn because her profession entailed great dexterity and nimbleness of mind; willing to serve because she worked in dangerous flash point areas; not the ‘most conducive’ of working environments; and open to death because the working environment had a reputation for bloodletting and blood shedding. Irrespective of that, Hauwa Mohammed Liman gave not just her services, but eventually her life too. Hauwa: Young and Sacrificial Hauwa Mohammed Liman was a victim of kidnap, by a faction of the Boko Haram Sect in March 2018, alongside two other international committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) Aid Workers. Hauwa alongside her colleagues, Alice Loksha, Saifura Hussaine and Ahmed Khorsa were working in a hospital supported by ICRC in a displacement camp in the remote town of Rann outside Maiduguri in Borno state.[1] Hauwa Mohammed Liman, who worked as a midwife was aged 24 years. At such an age, she obviously had the world in front of her to conquer, but those aspirations were cut short by the violations of her fundamental human rights to life. Hauwa had been described as a young woman that was so full of life, sociable and dynamic; a very enthusiastic woman who was much loved by family and friends; a woman who was truly dedicated to her work in helping vulnerable women in her family’s home area.[2] Hauwa: A Little Bit For All of Us Hauwa’s abduction and loss is much more than a tragedy to her family and friends, but also for the entirety of mankind. As Martin Luther King aptly puts it while in captivity in his letter from the Birmingham jail, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.” We all are affected directly or indirectly, by Hauwa’s death, the thousands of people in Rann and beyond-other conflicted affected areas of North- East Nigeria where accessing health care remains a challenge are grossly affected. One more good heart from amongst us is taken, humanity has been robbed of a gem. Hauwa Mohammed Liman joins a list of many heroes that put their lives on the line to serve humanity in red-hot zones, knowing that their lives could as well be demanded of them at any time; with death being the prize to pay, they are nonetheless ready to pay those prices-often times against their will. We salute our everyday hero, Hauwa Mohammed Liman, one who was ready, and eventually, paid the price. [1] Accessed 07/01/2019 [2] accessed 07/01/2019   Featured image source:

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This article was first published on 9th January 2019


Jeremiah is a scholar and a poet. He has a keen eye for studying the world and is passionate about people. He tweets at @jeremiahaluwong.

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