Politics

Killing of Deborah, Sokoto female student: British govt says murder was horrific, demands trial of her murderers

THE British government on Friday condemned the killing of Miss Deborah Samuel Yakubu by her schoolmates describing the murder as horrific. 

Deborah, a student of Shehu Shagari College of Education, Sokoto, was killed and her remains burnt by Muslim students of the school on Thursday for alleged blasphemy against Prophet Muhammad. 

The British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Catriona Laing, issued the condemnation of the act in a tweet on Friday from her personal handle @catrionalaing which was retweeted by the High Commission via its handle @ UKinNigeria. “I condem the murder of Deborah Samuel in Sokoto, and urge the police and relevant authorities to ensure the perpetrators of the horrific act are made to face justice in line with the law,” the UK top envoy tweeted. 

Also, the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) and its Youth Wing (YOWICAN) have condemned the gruesome murder. 

CAN, in a statement by its General Secretary, Joseph Daramola, said the unlawful and dastardly action of the perpetrators must not only be condemned by all right-thinking people but security operatives must fish them out and prosecute them. 

The association acknowledged the reaction of the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar III who, it said, did not only condemn the criminal action but called on the security agencies to bring the perpetrators to justice. 

The statement said: “The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) condemns in strong terms the gruesome murder of a Christian, a 200 Level student of Shehu Shagari College of Education, Sokoto, Deborah Yakubu, by some extremist fellow students on alleged blasphemy. 

“The unlawful and dastardly action of the perpetrators must not only be condemned by all right-thinking people but the security operatives must fish them out, prosecute them as it is expected of them. 

“It is the failure of the security agencies and the government to rise up to such criminalities in the past that gave birth to terrorists and bandits. And as long as the state fails to bring these beasts and criminals amidst us to book, so also the society will continue to be their killing fields. 

“We acknowledge the swift reaction of His Eminence, Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar III, who not only condemned the criminal and religious intolerant action but called on the security agencies to bring the perpetrators to justice. 

“It is our expectation that the state governor, Aminu Tambuwal, would ensure that the matter is not swept under the carpet.” 

CAN also commended the Christian students of the college for refusing to embrace self-help and revenge attack on those who murdered their colleague. 

Also, the national chairman of YOWICAN, Belusochukwu Enwere, in a petition to the Inspector General of Police and the Minister of Education, frowned at the report that only two persons were arrested in relation to the murder.

He called on the State Security Service (DSS), the police and other relevant security agencies to intensify efforts to arrest the remaining perpetrators whose faces appear on the video circulating online. 

“Information reaching us from reliable sources, including friends, students and close family members, reveal that Miss Deborah Samuel Yakubu was tortured, stoned and gruesomely murdered and her body subsequently set ablaze as a result of a comment she made in her departmental group WhatsApp platform, which her killers alleged to have blasphemed Prophet Muhammad. 

“We as well gathered that the acts of killing of our members for inexplicable and most times flimsy reasons have persisted unabated and have been largely kept away from the Christian fold and the general public by the perpetrators who appear to be working as a syndicate with some affiliation to the dreaded Boko Haram and ISIS before this unfortunate episode that happened in Sokoto State. 

“We heard that only two people were arrested while over 200 students participated in committing this crime. We hope this is not a way to sweep this matter under the carpet.”

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