Deborah Samuel: Students seek justice for slain colleague

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Last Thursday, social media users and students across the country received with shock the death of Miss Deborah Samuel, a 200-Level Economics student at Shehu Shagari College of Education in Wamako, Sokoto State.

CAMPUS LIFE gathered that the cause of her death was  a voice note the deceased sent to her class’ WhatsApp group. She was said to have protested  the incessant sending of Muslim messages to the group by her mates. The voice note made in Hausa was translated as:  “This group chat was not created for you to be sending nonsense. It is for past questions, updates about tests … Not for nonsense or some rubbish prophet.”

She was later accused of blasphemy against the Prophet Mohammed (SAW), killed and her corpse set ablaze.

Her murder has since sparked outrage across the country with many condemning it and calling for perpetrators to face the wrath of the law.

The Sokoto State Government also shut the school till further notice.

Mohammed Halimat-Oyibo, a student at  Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, condemned the killing of Deborah. She described it as a sin.

“For me, it was a wrong action to take. There is no religion that says kill because your religion was insulted. Killing is a sin already. The government should make sure those arrested in connection to her murder should face the law,” she said.

Toheeb Shittu of the Abraham Adesanya Polytechnic said the police and relevant authorities should avoid playing hide and seek and those involved should be severely dealt with.

“First, the event is a reflection of how far we have failed as a nation; letting religious beliefs reduce how we see ourselves. People now praise religion over humanity and it is  a slap on the faces of every single person that claims ‘religious’ but does not regard the essence of humanity. It is hard to solve this issue and the government has much to do.

“The killers have to face death sentences. This is not the time for the Police and relevant authorities to play hide and seek. All those involved in the death of Deborah need to be arrested and made to face the full extent of the law,” he said.

A student at Obafemi Awolowo Univerisity (OAU), Abiodun Adesanya, said the murder of Deborah was an unfortunate but avoidable incident. He advised  religious leaders to  be careful with their teachings.

He said: “The gruesome murder of Deborah Samuel is an unfortunate but avoidable event. This is not the first time we are experiencing such in this country, particularly in the northern region. There are ways to curb this ignominy.   The Federal Government and particularly the Sokoto Government must bring  Deborah’s killers to book. Justice delayed is justice denied. If this is not done, no one knows the next “Deborah”.

“Religious leaders should be careful with what they teach their subjects.

‘’The government also needs to encourage formal western education in the north, even as religion should be inculcated in their syllabus.”

Amanda Odiete of the University of Benin said the school should remain shut and perpetrators made to face the law.

“Her murderers must be apprehended, the school should be shut down for a while,” she said.

Olagija Oluwapleumi, a student of the Ekiti State University (EKSU) said the constitution needs to be made rigid to avoid a  recurrence.

“The death of Deborah is saddening. It is  a clear display of  the government’s failure to secure students’ lives, even Nigerian lives as a whole. It’s quite awful that the Nigerian constitution is flexible, and the only way to avoid the recurrence of this is to have a rigid constitution.Nobody has the right to kill for blasphemy, I hope  the government will do the needful,” she said.

Eunice Musa, a student at the University of Abuja, said the government should investigate and ensure that the school is penalised for not curtailing the issue. She said government needs to ensure that the activities of religious extremists are not tolerated.

“A similar situation occurred in Kano some time ago, a woman was killed and a rich official bought the case (used the money to take over the case and ensured the release of the perpetrator). What the government should do is investigate why a school didn’t even have security and if they had one, why was no report made?

“Another thing should be ensuring that  activities  of religious extremists are no longer  tolerated,” she said.

Oladapo Kehinde Olawale, a 400-Level student at Tai Solarin University of Education (TASUED), Ogun State,said: “It is heartbreaking to hear the death of a fellow student. Government should ensure it deals with everyone involved without any  bias.”

Oyewole Jeremiah, a student at Moshood Abiola Polytechnic (MAPOLY),Ogun State, said:  “The murder of  Deborah  is totally unacceptable and  culprits must not go scot-free.  Students must be taught how to tolerate each other.”

A student at  Landmark University,Omu Aran, Kwara State Michael Uzoma noted that the deceased deserves   justice.

Ayo Genesis, a student at Covenant University, Ota, Ogun State,said: “It is indeed  sad because the girl in question did not do any thing strange. According to some Muslims, this is not even the first time such would happen, so why that kind of treatment?  Justice must be served.”

Chime Augustine, a student at Modibbo Adama University of Technology(Federal University of Technology) Yola,said mankind has always found excuses to perpetuate evil.

His words: “My experience with these religion extremists is a very bad one. It is only God that is saving us the Christians in their area. This has been going on for years not just today.”

He noted that with education and  poverty reduction,  religious extremism can be curbed.

“Religion is one of the excuses mankind uses to perpetuate evil. The only thing to be done is to improve the standard of our society and improve our education.

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