Prominent civil rights advocacy group, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), on Tuesday, slammed Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal, over his silence and failure to get justice for Deborah Samuel, a Christian lady who was stoned to death by Islamic fanatics for alleged blasphemy.
HURIWA’s National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, in a statement, issued an ultimatum to Tambuwal and Peoples Democratic Party’s presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar to announce broad-based actions enforced against Deborah’s killers or be named in HURIWA’s HUMAN RIGHTS HALL OF INFAMY by December 10, 2022.
The group said it is very unfortunate and shocking that over five months after Deborah was lynched and burnt on May 13, 2022 in Sokoto, the Tambuwal-led government can’t get justice for the deceased student of Shehu Shagari College of Education whose life was gruesomely murdered.
The Sokoto State Police Command was said to have arraigned some persons as suspects but nothing has been heard of the zealots. “In fact, in August, the spokesman for the command, DSP Sanusi Abubakar, told Sunday PUNCH that those arrested by the police were not the prime suspects but only among those who organised the riot. What conspiratorial excuse for such bestial behaviour!” HURIWA’s Onwubiko exclaimed.
Onwubiko stated, “Civil rights lawyer, Femi Falana, said 190 persons were killed by mobs in Nigeria in the last two years, and “Sokoto State is ahead with 13 cases”. Yet, Tambuwal and his co-travellers are supporting the continuation of the ugly trend with their disposition and failure to get the victims justice. The Sultan of Sokoto, Sa’ad Abubakar III, and Islamic clerics have also been mute over the incident five months after.
“Like Deborah, no justice has been gotten for Flying Officer Tolulope Arotile, the first female combat helicopter pilot, who was knocked down on Tuesday, July 14, 2020, by a reckless driver and his co-travellers. Nothing has been heard of the case from both the Nigerian Air Force or the Nigerian Police Force.
“The register of victims of religious fanatics of the Islamic faith in northern Nigeria include Gideon Akaluka, Sunday Achi, Oluwatoyin Oluwasesin, Grace Ushang, Eunice Olawale, Bridget Agbahiwe, amongst others. All of them were sadly beheaded for blasphemy by persons said to be Muslims yet none of the killers was brought to book.
“It is not surprising, however, when at least 12 state governments in the North-West and the North-East legitimise rights violations. For instance, in 2020, Yahaya Sharif-Aminu was sentenced to death by a Sharia Court in Kano for alleged blasphemy. Similarly, a Kano-based atheist, Mubarak Bala, was sentenced to 24 years imprisonment for blasphemy just in April of 2022.
“That Deborah’s case was completely forgotten by the Nigerian government and especially the Sokoto State government headed by a senior lawyer Mr Tambuwal who is now director general of Atiku is concerning.
“Recall that Atiku had incidentally become notoriously infamous for tweeting in condemnation of the killing of Deborah and then deleting it when some mad people in the name of religion threatened not to vote for him.
“HURIWA urged Nigerians to reject Atiku for this major reason because he can’t guarantee the safety of Christians in the far north. Also, Tambuwal has till December 9th to announce broad-based actions enforced against Deborah’s killers or HURIWA name him in our HUMAN RIGHTS HALL OF INFAMY and then inaugurate a campaign on the event of WORLD’S HUMAN RIGHTS DAY on December 10th 2022.”