The Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Mathew Kukah, has condemned the killing of a female student of the Shehu Shagari College of Education, Sokoto.
He also called for calm over the incident, saying it had nothing to do with religion.
According to the police, Deborah Samuel, a level-two student, was accused of making a social media post that blasphemed the holy prophet Muhammad (SAW).
The police said the students forcefully removed the victim from the security room where she was hidden by the school authorities, killed her and burnt the building.
“I have just received with deep shock the news of the tragedy that occurred in the Shehu Shagari College of Education, Sokoto, leading to the gruesome murder of Ms Deborah Yakubu, a 200 level Home Economics student today,” the venerated cleric said.
“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.
“Meanwhile, I wish to call on all Christians in Sokoto and around to remain calm and to please pray for the repose of the soul of Ms Deborah. It is the first obligation that we owe her. May God grant her eternal rest and console her immediate family.”
The Sokoto State Governmenthas reacted to the incident in a statement that said:
“It has come to the notice of Sokoto State Government, the unfortunate incident that took place at the Shehu Shagari College of Education (SSCOE) Sokoto in which a Student of the College, lost her life.”
The state government has ordered the immediate closure of the College.
“Already, the State Governor Rt. Hon. Aminu Waziri Tambuwal has directed the Ministry of Higher Education, and relevant Security agencies in the State to commence investigations into the remote and immediate causes of the incident and report back to the Government.”