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Nigerian mob kills Christian student for blasphemy

On May 12, 2022, the killing of Deborah Samuel Yakubu by some Muslim students of her school Shehu Shagari College of Education in Sokoto, has widely been condemned by Muslims and Christians across Nigeria. (photo supplied)

A Nigerian Christian college student accused of blasphemy was stoned to death and later burned by mobs.

Deborah Samuel Yakubu was in her early twenties and hailed from Zuru in the Repa Local Government Area. 

A Muslim student killed her on March 12 at Shehu Shagari College of Education in Sokoto, according to reports.

Deborah, a second-year home economics student, was accused of making rude comments about the Prophet Muhammad in a WhatsApp group.

Two people have been arrested in connection with the killing in Sokoto. This has caused outrage on social media, with many Nigerians condemning the cruel act.

The killers reportedly shared a video showing them stoning and burning the woman's body. 

Eyewitnesses reported that they shouted Allahu Akbar (Allah is the greatest) throughout the filming.

They also said the angry mob chased away security personnel posted at the college gates, urging bystanders to join if they were Muslim.

President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria responded to the tragedy by saying, "No one has the right to take the law into their own hands in this country, and violence will never solve any problem."

The Governor of Sokoto State, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, ordered the closure of the school and an investigation by the ministry of higher education and security agencies.

After the investigation, he promised that the government would take the proper steps, and he asked the people of the state to "stay calm and keep the peace."

Meanwhile, Bishop Matthew Kukah of Sokoto issued a statement condemning the incident in the strongest terms and demanding that the authorities investigate.

The prelate said, "Those who commit this inhuman act, regardless of their motivation, must be punished according to the laws of our country."

"This matter must be treated as a criminal matter," Bishop Kukah urged while reminding Christians in Sokoto to remain calm, adding that Christians in Sokoto had lived peacefully with their Muslim neighbors for years.

On May 12, the Nigerian Christian Association (NCA) announced that they would hold a national demonstration to raise awareness of the incident and intensify their calls for the prosecution of her murderers.

In a statement, the Christian Association of Nigeria said the protest would be held in every Secretariat of CAN throughout Nigeria without taking place on the streets to prevent further deaths.

A Muslim leader, the Sultan of Sokoto, expressed "dismay" at the unfortunate events resulting in the death of a female student. 

The Sultanate Council has condemned the whole incident and has called for calm and peaceful coexistence among all the people of the state and nation, he said.

In Nigeria, it is common for people to be killed for blasphemy. In 2016, Christian evangelist Eunice Elisha was murdered in Kubwa for preaching Christ, and Bridget Agbahime was beheaded in Kano for blasphemy. There were no punishments in either case.

In March 2021, a man named Talle Mai Ruwa was allegedly burned by angry villagers in the Sade community in the Darazo Local Government Area of Bauchi State after allegedly insulting the Prophet Muhammad.

In Malawi, a pastor was accused of mocking Allah in 2021. He escaped being killed, but a mob set his residence and church on fire. - Anbu Selvam


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