Blasphemy: Civil Society Condemns Killing Of Christian Lady In Sokoto
International Peace and Civic Responsibility Centre (IPCRC), a national Citizens Organization engaging in Peacebuilding and good Governance, has condemned in strongest terms the reported killing of a young lady by her schoolmates in Sokoto, northwest Nigeria, and called on the authorities to investigate the tragedy with a view to ensuring that all the culprits are brought to justice.
The President of the Organization, Prince Chris Azor who doubles as the Chairman, Anambra State, Civil Society Network (ACSONET) in an address to newsmen, strongly condemned the resort to self-help and violence by the mob in Sokoto, resulting in violence and tragic killing of Deborah Samuel, following an allegation of blasphemy.
Comrade Azor was of the opinion that the incident had little or nothing to do with religion, as Christians and Muslims had lived peacefully in the State.
He emphasised that no person has the right to take the law into their own hands, as the violence will never solve any problem, sustainably.
“There’s really no excuse for anyone to take the law into their own hands no matter the provocation, as there are statutory procedures for seeking redress in such matters”
The Constitution of the Federal Republic (as amended) upholds the fundamental rights to life and mandates all citizens to respect the rights and dignity of others, he said.
The Peace and Human rights advocate, therefore, recommends an impartial and extensive probe into the incident, while restating the need for religious leaders to continue to educate their followers on the sanctity of human life and religious tolerance.
He commended the swift reaction of the Sokoto State Government and the Sultan while urging religious and community leaders to ensure peace and calmness in their domain.
“The constituted authority must be allowed to deal with such matters when they arise”
He also commended President Buhari for making an official statement condemning the incident and calling for calm among the general population. However, he implored Mr President to swiftly rein the relevant authorities to commence swift and thorough investigations, with a view to ensuring that the culprits are identified and brought to justice.
“Mr President must also ensure vigilance and adequate security across the country to forestall any form of reprisal attacks”
Security and safety across the country especially, in our institutions of learning should be a priority”
We express our condolences to the family of the young lady Deborah Samuel and other affected citizens”, he concluded.
Recall that on Thursday, some students of Shehu Shagari College of Education, Sokoto, lynched a 200-level female student, Deborah, over an allegation of blasphemy.
The deceased was violently stoned to death and later set ablaze by an angry mob who were mostly students of the College.
As a result, the School authority immediately announced the closure of the instruction and ordered students to vacate the campus.
The Sokoto State Government had also promised to investigate the matter and vowed that the perpetrators would be brought to justice.
The Sokoto Police Command in a release said it arrested two persons among those involved in the killing on Thursday.