WE are dissatisfied with steps taken so far in dealing with the gruesome murder of Miss Deborah Samuel, a 200-level Home Economics student of Shehu Shagari College of Education, over alleged “blasphemy” of Prophet Mohammed, SAW.
From the look of things, government and some individuals and groups in the North want to quickly dispense with this issue without doing justice to whom it is due according to the laws of Nigeria. They are deliberately and impudently pursuing the course of impunity, not bothered by the deep hurts that the injustice could leave within the family of the deceased and the Christian community in general.
Governor Aminu Tambuwal apparently wanted the rioters off the streets as quickly as possible so he could continue with his presidential pursuits. He is more interested in remaining in the good books of Islamic extremists for their votes, forgetting that he stands to lose much more both within and outside the North for failing in his duty as governor to ensure justice for Deborah Samuel.
He was expected to lead a delegation of his government to commiserate with the bereaved family and offer them succour. At least, that would show him as an empathetic leader who will identify with Nigerians no matter their background, if elected president.
Governor Tambuwal also vowed to bring the culprits “to book”. But so far, only two people: Bilyaminu Aliyu and Aminu Hukunci, have been arraigned in court whereas it was a crowd of mobsters that killed and burnt Deborah. We demand that all the murderers and officials who failed to protect the young lady be also arrested and properly charged for murder or accessory to murder.
Not only that, the alleged killers were only charged for “criminal conspiracy and inciting violence”. Meanwhile, they had appeared on video boldly and boastfully claimed they killed and burnt Deborah.
There is clearly a ploy to let the killers off the hook with a slap on the wrist. It is shocking that Tambuwal, a lawyer, would be mixed up with this.
We demand that the charges be amended to ensure that all those who killed Deborah are properly brought to book.
Apart from fulfilling the course of justice, it will impose deterrence. Without it, we will see worse than this in the future, and it will not augur well for inter-faith peaceful coexistence.
We also call on law enforcement agencies to arrest and prosecute the Chief Imam of Bayero University, Kano, Sheikh Abubakar Jibril, who incited Muslims against the Catholic Bishop of Sokoto, Matthew Hassan Kukah.
This led rioters to attack not only businesses of innocent non-indigenes but also parishes under Kukah’s jurisdiction.
The Sokoto State Government must compensate the traders because it failed to protect them and their businesses as mandated by the Constitution.