In the near-total silence of the media in Nigeria, the slaughter of Christians continues, and the victims are often young women. The most recent victim is Deborah Yakubu, a student at Shehu Shagari College of Education, who was stoned, and her body set on fire in the school.
At the origins of the tragedy was allegedly a disagreement, which occurred online with some Muslim students, according to whom Deborah blasphemed the Prophet Muhammad.
The incident allegedly occurred during the month of Ramadan, when the college was temporarily closed. After seeing the young Christian girl at school, the Muslim students present surrounded her and began hitting her with stones until she fell to the ground. Having ascertained Deborah’s death, the attackers then burned her body.
The bishop’s condemnation
Upon learning the news, the Catholic bishop of Sokoto, Monsignor Matthew Hassan Kukah, expressed sadness over such an inhumane act and condemned the incident in very strong terms, “I am terribly shocked by the incident at Shehu Shagari College of Education Sokoto that led to the gruesome murder of Ms. Deborah Yakubu, a Home Economics student.” Adding, “We condemn this incident in the strongest terms and call on the authorities to investigate the tragedy, ensuring that all perpetrators are brought to justice.”
The bishop’s hope is that the perpetrators of this “inhumane act,” whatever the motive, will be “punished according to local law”: this is the “only obligation” owed to Deborah’s “close relatives,” her “fellow students,” and the “school authority,” Msgr. Kukah stressed.
Religiously motivated crimes unpunished for more than 30 years
The heinous murder was also condemned by former Education Minister Oiageli Ezekwesili and human rights activist Aisha Yesufu.
“Deborah sadly joins the long list of those who must one day be given justice on this Earth; no matter how long it takes to build a society in which human life is respected and dignity recognized. Her ‘religious’ murderers will surely account for what they have done. One day. On Earth and before God,” Yesufu writes.
“May God comfort the family of a young woman who went to receive education and only paid with her life because a pack of murderers accused her of ‘religious blasphemy’ in a ‘democracy’ and in 2022,” the activist adds.
“Nigeria is disintegrating more and more every day. A family has just lost a daughter because these heinous acts go unpunished and more and more people continue to practice them,” Yesufu goes on and finally denounces, “Has anyone ever been prosecuted for these heinous murders? As early as 1990 I learned of these heinous assaults committed in the name of religion, but I’ve never heard of any prosecutions. We cannot continue to produce serial killers who, in turn, are generating more serial killers.”
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