The Foreign Affairs Minister, Geoffrey Onyeama, has said that the release of a Nigerian national, Zainab Aliyu by Saudi authorities is a sign of the goodwill Nigeria is enjoying under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari.
Backstory: Mustapha Sulaiman, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, had announced the release of two Nigerians detained by Saudi authorities for alleged drug trafficking.
Zainab Aliyu, a student of Maitama Sule University, Kano, who traveled to Saudi in December 2018 was detained by the Saudi Arabia authorities for allegedly being in possession of banned substances. Ibrahim Abubakar, the second Nigerian, had also been detained by Saudi authority for an alleged drug-related offense.
Onyeama noted that all diplomatic channels at the highest levels were explored to achieve the release of both Nigerians. “So we are very happy that quiet diplomacy has proven its worth. In this case, we know this is an innocent Nigerian who some criminals had planted drugs in her name,” he said.
Apparently, Aliyu is the victim of a drug cartel operating at the Aminu Kano International Airport, Kano where illegal substances are planted by airport officials into the bags of unsuspecting passengers.
Members of the cartel had been arrested.
Bottom Line: Good news for the families of the two Nigerians.