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Punish Deborah Yakubu’s murderers — Afenifere

By Rotimi Agboluaje, (Ibadan) Sodiq Omolaoye (Abuja) and Shakirah Adunola ( Lagos)
15 May 2022   |   4:04 am
The pan-Yoruba socio-cultural organisation, Afenifere, has demanded severe punishment for the killers of a female student of Shehu Shagari College of Education, Sokoto, Miss Deborah Samuel Yakubu.

• Extra Judiciary Killing Alien To Islam — NASFAT
• 300 Women Groups Condemn Act

The pan-Yoruba socio-cultural organisation, Afenifere, has demanded severe punishment for the killers of a female student of Shehu Shagari College of Education, Sokoto, Miss Deborah Samuel Yakubu.

Deborah was lynched on Wednesday, May 11, 2022, by her school colleagues over alleged blasphemy.

Afenifere condemned in very strong terms, the unprovoked and unwarranted killing of the 200-level student of the Sokoto State-owned tertiary institution.

This was contained in a release signed by the National Publicity Secretary of the organisation, Mr. Jare Ajayi, in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital.

Also, the Chief Missioner of Nasrul-Lahi-l-Fatih (NASFAT), Imam Abdul-Azeez Onike, yesterday, said Deborah’s extra-judicial killing “is unacceptable in Islam.”

He said: “To understand the anathema of the sad incident of extra-judicial punishment meted out to a lady in Sokoto on Wednesday, which resulted in her death, let us look at the following narration, which depicts and represents the expected reaction of any follower of our Noble Prophet Muhammad: “Anas b. Malik reported: While we were in the mosque with Allah’s Messenger, a desert Arab came and stood up and began to urinate in the mosque. The companions of Allah’s Messenger said: Stop, stop, but the Messenger of Allah said: Don’t interrupt him; leave him alone. They left him alone, and when he finished urinating, Allah’s Messenger called him and said to him: These mosques are not the places meant for urine and filth, but are only for the remembrance of Allah, prayer and the recitation of the Qur’an… The narrator said the Holy Prophet then gave orders to one of the people who brought a bucket of water and poured it over…”

Meanwhile, over 300 women organisations and members of the Womanifesto have condemned Deborah’s murder, while urging the government to declare a state of emergency on killing of women and girls in the country.

They urged state governments that were yet to domesticate the Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) Act to do so, noting that Nigerian women and girls must not continue to be endangered species.

A statement, yesterday, signed by the Executive Director, Women Advocates Research and Documentation Centre (WARDC), Dr Abiola Akiyode-Afolabi, on behalf of the groups, said the killing within the school’s premises without any protection from the school authorities was the most egregious pattern of religious intolerance in Nigeria.

They said: “The blatant disregard for human life and continuous killing of women and girls with impunity, has normalised the culture of jungle justice in evident failure of the Nigeria to secure our people.

Afenifere’s statement read: ‘’Report has it that Deborah was dragged out of the college’s security post, where she was hiding from her assailants, stoned to death and then set on fire in a very barbaric manner. Reports indicated that the late student had cautioned those who posted what she considered as ‘useless information’ on a WhatsApp group platform created basically to share information about their studies…”
“Even more is the pattern of official silence when barbaric acts happen in Nigeria.

“We would like to recall that several other Nigerian women have been killed in similar circumstances. For example, Eunice Olawale in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) in 2016 and Bridget Agbaheme in Kano in 2017, were victims of premeditated murdered for what their killers similarly called “religious blasphemy.

Afenifere continued: “The report made it known that Deborah reacted to a post asking its reader to repost, otherwise evil would befall the reader, who failed to repost it.

Deborah, in a voice note, had said: “Send us important information. This group was not created for you to send useless information. It was created for past questions or an assignment. It is not for you to send useless information. Which prophet?…”

Afenifere said reminding members of the group of its purpose ought to have earned a commendation not an attack.

“This Deborah tragedy must be used as cue to put a permanent stop to faith-induced murder in our land…”

Onike advised against reprisal attack and unnecessary maligning of a particular tribe or religion, since jungle justice, which is fast becoming rampant in our country, is a condemnable act by all religions and sensible person.

He urged the law enforcement agents to do a thorough investigation, arrest culprits and speedily bring justice to bear.