Saturday, 14 May 2022

Blasphemy : Buhari Demands Thorough, Impartial Investigation Of COE Student Killing

President Muhammadu Buhari has demanded an impartial and extensive investigation into the circumstances that led to the violence in Sokoto, which resulted in the killing of a student of Shehu Shagari College of Education, Sokoto, Deborah Samuel, on Thursday.

Deborah, a 200 level student of the institution, was reported killed on the campus of the college for allegedly blaspheming the name of the Prophet Mohammed.

In an intriguing move yesterday, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar distanced himself from a deleted post on his verified Facebook and Twitter pages condemning the killing of Deborah after the presidential aspirant came under threats from fanatics who asked him to forget his presidential ambition.

On its part, the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) blamed the ugly incident on the failure of government to deal decisively with blasphemy-related killings

Reacting to Deborah’s killing in a statement issued by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, President Buhari condemned the killing of the student, even as he deplored the idea of people taking the law into their own hands.

The President, who described the development as a cause for concern, also noted that the teachings by religious leaders do not support any believer judging the action of another person.

“President Muhammadu Buhari strongly condemns the resort to self-help by the mob in Sokoto, resulting in violence, destruction and killing of a second year student of Shehu Shagari College of Education, Sokoto, Deborah Samuel, following an allegation that she had blasphemed Muhammad (SAW), the Prophet of Islam, on Thursday.

“President Buhari said the news of the killing of the young lady by fellow students was a matter of concern and demanded an impartial, extensive probe into all that happened before and during the incident.

“The President noted that Muslims all over the world demand respect for the Holy Prophets, including Isah (Alaihissalaam, Jesus Christ) and Muhammad (SAW), but where transgressions occur, as alleged to be the case in this instance, the law does not allow anyone to take matters into their hands.

“Moreover, religious leaders preach that it is not for the believer to judge the actions of another person. The constituted authority must be allowed to deal with such matters when they arise,” the statement said.

According to the President, “no person has the right to take the law in his or her own hands in this country. Violence has and never will solve any problem.”

President Buhari also directed the Ministries of Information and Culture, Police Affairs and that of Communications and Digital Economy to work with GSM providers and tech companies to help contain the spread of false and inflammatory information through social media.

The President extended the nation’s condolences to the family of the deceased student and wished those that were injured quick recovery.

He commended the immediate response to the incident by the Sokoto State Government and urged religious and community leaders to call citizens’ attention to the need to exercise the right to freedom of speech responsibly.

President Buhari called for tempered comments by the media and calm among the general population while investigation is ongoing to find out the remote and immediate causes of the incident

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