Sultan, Tambuwal, Kukah condemn killing of student accused of blasphemy

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THE killing of Deborah Samuel, a female student of Shehu Shagari College of Education, Sokoto, over alleged blasphemy has sparked widespread condemnation.

The second level student was said to have made the blasphemous comment in a student’s WhatsApp group.

It was said that somebody posted a religious subject on the platform and while criticising his action, Deborah allegedly made a blasphemous statement against Prophet Muhammad (SAW).

Another source said she made the statement while quarreling with a fellow student in the hostel.

The source said, “She was asked to apologise but refused. This heightened tension in the school. The college security men intervened by whisking her to their office but they were overpowered by the students who later killed her and set her body ablaze.”

The Sokoto State government responded by ordering the immediate closure of the college.

The Commissioner for Information, Isa Bajini Galadanchi, at a press conference held at the government house, ordered the immediate closure of the college.

Galadanchi said Governor Aminu Tambuwal had directed the state’s Ministry of Higher Education and relevant security agencies to investigate the matter.

However, the police said two suspects had been arrested in connection with the killing while a manhunt had been launched for fleeing suspects.

The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, ASP Sanusi Abubakar, who disclosed this in a statement yesterday, said some students of the institution barricaded the Sokoto-Jega Road after the killing.

He said policemen had been deployed in the area to “give tight security coverage”.

Meanwhile, the Sultan of Sokoto and President General of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar, has condemned the killing of the female student.

The monarch, in a statement by the secretary of the Sultanate Council, called for the arrest and prosecution of the perpetrators.

He urged all to remain calm and ensure peaceful co-existence among the people of the state and the nation.

Also, the Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Mathew Hassan Kukah, who condemned the killing, said it had nothing to do with religion.

In a statement issued in Sokoto, Kukah said Muslims and Christians had lived together peacefully for a long time.

He described those behind the barbaric act as criminals.

“This has nothing to do with Religion. Christians have lived peacefully with their Muslim neighbours here in Sokoto over the years. This matter must be treated as a criminal act and the law must take its cause,” he said

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