May 17, 2022

PEOPLE TALK: On killing of Deborah Samuel in Sokoto for alleged blasphemy

Deborah Samuel

Late Deborah Samuel


I feel sad and scared at the same time at the way things are going in Nigeria. The killing of Deborah Samuel has shown that misunderstanding of religion is a big problem in Nigeria. The sacredness of the human soul has been undermined by religious fanatics. I do pray that she gets justice and that God is with her family to console them in a time like this.

—Dr. Princess Idialu, Educationist

What happened did not warrant the young lady’s death. I want to use this opportunity to call on the Federal Government to make a policy that kicks against attacks on anyone accused of blasphemy. This Deborah tragedy must be used to put a permanent stop to faith-induced murders in this country.

—Vivian Nyerovwa, Health worker

It is the failure of the security agencies and the government to rise to such criminalities in the past that gave birth to terrorists and bandits. And as long as the state fails to bring these beasts and criminals amidst us to book, so long will the society continue to be their killing field.

—Akin-Taylor Grace, Businesswoman

The killing of Deborah Samuel was an unnecessary and unfortunate action taken too far. To take another person’s life because of religion is uncalled for. Religious fundamentalism in Nigeria has gone beyond being careful. It has become demonically monstrous; a manifestation of it is in the brutal killing of Deborah Samuel.

—Rev. (Dr.) Raphael Idialu, Rector, MTI, Sagamu

I think that in this modern time and age, we should have adopted a civilised approach to address issues of this nature and not the gruesome killing of a fellow citizen.

We want to use this medium to assure the general public that justice will be done. Deborah’s death will not be in vain.

—Blessing Ngozi, Musician

When they say ‘freedom of religion,’ I ask: which religion? Is freedom meant for one religion at the expense of others? They say ‘all animals are equal,’ and I ask: does a set of people have the right to determine the length and breadth of this equality? How do we checkmate the advance of one religion against this ‘equality’? Who has the right to take a life he can’t create?  Remember, this is not the first killing but this one should not end like others.

—Anioke Vera, Health worker