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Deborah Yakubu, a second-year student at a college in Sokoto State, was killed by her Muslim classmates
A Nigerian Christian woman studying at a college in Sokoto State was brutally stoned to death and later burned after being accused of blasphemy.
Deborah Yakubu from Zuru in Repa Local Government Area was said to be in her early twenties. She was killed by Muslim men studying with her at Shehu Shagari College of Education in Sokoto on March 12.
Deborah, a second-year student of home economics, was accused of posting comments on a students’ WhatsApp group that allegedly insulted the Prophet Muhammad.
Sokoto police confirmed the arrest of two persons in connection with the killing, which triggered outrage on social media with many Nigerians condemning the inhuman act.
The killers reportedly shared a video of the gory incident showing them stoning the woman to death and burning her body. They kept shouting Allahu Akbar (Allah is the greatest) while filming, according to eyewitnesses.
Security personnel posted at the college gates tried to intervene but were chased away by the angry mob. Passersby were being told to join if they were Muslims, eyewitnesses added.
“We condemn this incident in the strongest terms and call on the authorities to investigate this tragedy and ensure that the culprits are brought to book”
Sokoto State governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal ordered the immediate closure of the school and an investigation by the ministry of higher education and security agencies into the incident.
He called on the people of the state “to remain calm and maintain peace” and assured the government would take appropriate action after the investigation.
“We condemn this incident in the strongest terms and call on the authorities to investigate this tragedy and ensure that the culprits are brought to book,” read a statement from Bishop Matthew Kukah of Sokoto.
The prelate demanded that “those who are guilty of this inhuman act, no matter their motivation, are punished according to the extant laws of our land.”
Bishop Kukah further underlined that Christians had lived peacefully with their Muslim neighbors in Sokoto for years. “This matter must be treated as a criminal act and the law must take its course,” he said while urging Christians in Sokoto to remain calm.
The sultan of Sokoto, a leader of Muslims, expressed his “dismay” at the unfortunate happenings that led to the loss of life of a female student. “The Sultanate Council condemned the incident in totality” and “urged all to remain calm and ensure peaceful coexistence among all people of the state and the nation,” he said in a statement.
Killings in the name of blasphemy are common across Nigeria. In 2016, Christian evangelist Eunice Elisha was killed for preaching Christ in Kubwa, while Bridget Agbahime was beheaded in Kano for blasphemy. No one was punished in the two cases.
In March 2021, a man identified as Talle Mai Ruwa was burned to death by an angry mob in the Sade community in Darazo Local Government Area of Bauchi State for allegedly insulting the Prophet Muhammad.
In 2021, a pastor in the district of Mangochi in Malawi was accused of mocking Allah but escaped being killed. His church and house were set on fire and destroyed by a mob.
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