The killing of Miss Deborah Samuel, a second-year student of Shehu Shagari College of Education, Sokoto in northern Nigeria for alleged blasphemy of Prophet Muhammad on Thursday by the students of the college has attracted widespread condemnation.
Reacting to the killing, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari condemned the resort to self-help by a mob, resulting in violence, destruction, and killing of Miss Deborah Samuel in Sokoto State.
Presidential spokesman Garba Shehu said in a statement that President Buhari said that the news of the killing of the young lady by fellow students was a matter of concern.
He, therefore, demanded an impartial, extensive probe into all that happened before and during the incident.
The Nigerian leader, however, explained that where transgressions occur, as alleged to be the case in this instance, the law does not allow anyone to take matters into their hands.
President Buhari stressed that religious leaders have always preached that it was not for a believer to judge the actions of another person and the constituted authority must be allowed to deal with such matters when they arise.
“No person has the right to take the law into his or her own hands in this country. Violence has and never will solve any problem,” Buhari was quoted as saying in the statement.
He directed the Ministries of Information and Culture, Police Affairs, as well as Communications and Digital Economy to work with telecoms service providers and tech companies to help contain the spread of false and inflammatory information through social media.
He extended the nation’s condolences to the family of the slain student and wished all those injured a quick recovery.
In her reaction, the British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Catriona Laing, strongly condemned the killing of Deborah Samuel.
She urged the authorities to make sure legal actions are taken against those who killed Deborah.
“I condemn the murder of Deborah Samuel in Sokoto, and urge the police and relevant authorities to ensure the perpetrators of this horrific act are made to face justice in line with the law,” Ms Laing tweeted on Friday.
The Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Mathew Kukah, also condemned the killing, and called for calm, saying it had nothing to do with religion.
“We condemn this incident in the strongest terms and call on the authorities to investigate this tragedy and ensure that all the culprits are brought to book. The only obligation that is owed her immediate family, her fellow students, and the school authorities is the assurance that those who are guilty of this inhuman act, no matter their motivation, are punished according to our extant laws of the land.
“This has nothing to do with religion. Christians have lived peacefully with their Muslim neighbours here in Sokoto over the years. This matter must be treated as a criminal act and the law must take its cause,” the venerated cleric advised.
Similarly, the Sultanate Council in Sokoto reprehended the killing, urging all to remain calm and ensure peaceful coexistence while the security agencies bring those who committed the unjustifiable incident to justice.
Many Nigerians have continued to condemn the horrendous event, especially on social media outlets, demanding that the law enforcement agents should ensure that the perpetrators do not escape from the long arm of the law.