MEET FRANK OSHANUGOR
By Frank Oshanugor & Winnie Kodilonye
The gruesome lynching of Miss Deborah Samuel Yakubu at the Shehu Shagari College of Education Sokoto by Muslim students religious extremists on Thursday has continued to attract strong condemnation from across sections of the country with many commentators lamenting the impunity and moral decadence that pervade every facet of the society.
Both Christian and Muslim leaders including the Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Matthew Hassan Kukah, the Sultan of Sokoto, Governor of Sokoto, Aminu Tambuwal and many other leaders have spoken out condemning the killing.
Various versions of media reports have hinged the gruesome murder on alleged blasphemy of Prophet Mohammed by Deborah who until her death was a second year student of the College of Education. She was alleged to have made the blasphemous statement via her class group WhatsApp. But fact remains that nobody has the right to take the life of anyone on the basis of alleged blasphemy.
Many right thinking Nigerians across religious divides are united in their condemnation of the killing in a centre of learning where morality, religious tolerance and cultural dynamism ought to be highly promoted.
Various radio commentaries monitored in Lagos on Friday by AtlanticNewsonline revealed that not a few Nigerians are worried that the level of religious intolerance and impunity amongst some Northern Muslims have taken a more disturbing dimension.
Some of the commentators attributed the impunity of extremist Northern youths to the indifference and unseriousness government has displayed over the years in similar cases of attack on Christians at the slightest belief or suspicion of blasphemy.
Records reveal many cases of attack and killing of Christians by Muslim extremists in the Northern part of the country without evidence of commensurate punishment to the perpetrators. Many commentators believe that more violent Muslim extremists are inclined to act beastly like in the case of Deborah because northern state governments have not shown commitment in dealing decisively with the situation.
It is feared that if the case of Deborah is not handled carefully by bringing the perpetrators to book, religious crisis may be in the offing and can be costly in the face of the electioneering campaigns for the 2023 election.