Aidoghie Paulinus, Abuja
The Federal Government, yesterday, said the release of Zainab Aliyu from detention, in Saudi Arabia, over drug related issue, was a sign of Nigeria’s goodwill in the comity of nations.
Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, made the remarks in Guinea Bissau, on peace-building efforts, as special envoy of the Chairman of the Authority of Heads of State and Government of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), President Muhammadu Buhari.
Onyeama said Zainab’s release by Saudi Arabian authorities was further sign of the immense goodwill Nigeria enjoys on the global stage; under Buhari’s leadership.
Media Aide to the minister, Sarah Sanda, said the minister received news of her release while in Guinea Bissau on an official assignment and that Onyeama said all diplomatic channels at the highest levels were explored to achieve the desired result.
“We would like to thank the Government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for that decision. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has been involved in very quiet diplomacy for sometime now. We have provided them with documentation and this obviously led to the release; which is a very good thing.
“I think it also shows the benefits of quiet diplomacy. So, we are very happy that quiet diplomacy has proven its worth,” Onyeama said.
He further said in the case of Zainab, it was proven that she was innocent, unlike the recent case which led to the execution of another Nigerian, Kudirat Adesola Afolabi.