So sad, no justice yet for Deborah, By Yemi Adebowale

The murder of Deborah Yakubu, who was a student of Shehu Shagari College of Education, Sokoto, by some fanatical Muslim school mates for alleged blasphemy, was a year old on May 12. It’s so sad that one year after her brutal killing, not even one of the bastards that murdered her has been arrested. The police and other security agencies in Sokoto State should hide their heads in shame.

Even the trial of the suspects arrested – Bilyaminu Aliyu and Aminu Hukunci –arraigned for “criminal conspiracy and inciting public disturbance,” after Deborah’s murder, was yesterday struck out due to lack of diligent prosecution. The Sokoto State Police Command needs to tell Nigerians why they should still keep their jobs after this disgraceful act.

Aliyu and Hukunci are not even the killers of Deborah; they were involved in criminal conspiracy and incitement, not murder. That’s what security agents told us. So, where are the killers of Deborah? The murder is already one year old. Not a single one of the killers in the viral video which captured the moment Deborah was killed has been arrested by the compromised police in Sokoto State. Scores of extremists were seen in the video participating in the murder of Deborah.

The police simply declared them wanted and sat back. It took them six days to even do that. Why did the police not go after the killers immediately the crime was committed? What have they been doing in the last one year to arrest the killers? The murderers are easily identifiable as seen in viral videos cheerfully celebrating their crime. So sad that after one year, the police have failed to track them down. When will Deborah’s killers be arrested?

The main duty of the State is protection of lives. The Nigerian State has failed Deborah. It persistently fails its people because of crooked and compromised leadership. It took compromised President Buhari 24 hours to react to the killing of Deborah. This is the tragedy of the country called Nigeria. The brutal murder of Deborah has not been the last. Terrorists and religious fanatics in Nigeria are emboldened because they are hardly made to pay for their atrocities. So, they confidently continue with their carnages.

That was why the terrorists that killed Deborah trooped to the streets of Sokoto the following day, burning churches, maiming and killing innocent people.

The religious extremists who killed Deborah openly took the law into their hands. They recorded the murder and provided video evidence. What other evidence is the police looking for? The murder of Deborah is criminality! Simple! The responsibility of the government is to immediately ensure that those who committed the dreadful crime are identified, detained and quickly prosecuted. This has not happened after one year.

Buhari persistently fails to send a strong signal to religious fanatics that Nigeria remains a heterogeneous, secular state. He has failed to come down very hard on carnage by extremists. He did not even deem it appropriate to visit the traumatised parents of Deborah. As for Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State, his political ambition pushed aside the importance of the life of a citizen entrusted in his care but was murdered in cold blood.

Killing in the name of blasphemy is punishable by death as affirmed by the Supreme Court in 2007. The Sokoto State Police Command needs to be reminded about this. The killers of Deborah desecrated her fundamental rights guaranteed in Chapter IV of the 1999 Constitution – right to life, right to fair hearing, right to freedom of thought, religion and conscience. They must be brought to justice. This is the only way to halt the endless cycle of killings in the name of religion in Nigeria.

Source: First published by Thisday Newspaper

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