The Network of Africa Christian Journalists (NACJOURN) has warned Christians living in the Northern part of the country to be careful when dealing with Islamic fanatical youths in that part of the country.
NACJOURN, in a statement titled ‘We Can Not Continue Like This’, signed by its President, Dr. Bola Adewara, and Secretary, Dayo Emmanuel, described Debora’s killing as “Yet another naked, senseless and irascible killing of a Christian in Northern Nigeria.”
The group lamented that Deborah’s killing took place in a tertiary institution and when many Nigerians thought they were building a nation by doing away with illiteracy, suspicions, meaningless religious sentiments and activities that stand reason and enlightenment on its head.
It would be recalled that Deborah Yakubu, a Part 2 Economics student of Shehu Shagari College of Education, Sokoto, was killed by her classmates on Thursday, May 12, 2022 for allegedly making a statement they considered blasphemous.
The students, who snatched Deborah from the protective arms of the school’s security, stoned her to death before setting her body on fire at the security gate of the institution.
The action has however, attracted the condemnation of Nigerians including the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III, the Catholic Bishop of Sokoto, Dr. Matthew Hassan Kukah among others.
The police in Sokoto, while also condemning the action, claimed that it has arrested two suspects in connection to the killing.
NACJOURN stated: “The state of mind of many youths in Northern Nigeria, if their comments on social media on this killing, are something to go by, is a source of worry to enlightened minds.
“Coming to think that these are the same youth we call leaders of tomorrow, we wonder if truly Nigeria has a tomorrow where everyone can live in peace, holds opinion and ventilates the same, without molestation and fear of being killed.
“It is against this background that we condemn in the strongest terms, the killing of Deborah Yakubu, a part 2 Economics student in Shehu Shagari College of Education, Sokoto, on Thursday, May 12, 2022.
“Against the fact that this incident happened in a College of Education, one wonders what this institution has been teaching their students who will become teachers of the younger generation after their graduation.
“Despite all efforts by successive governments to assist enlightenment in Northern Nigeria, which culminated in an investment of N60billion in almajiris education by the Jonathan administration, we lament the current realities of the youth in that part of Nigeria.
“NACJourn also feels so sad that past issues like this have been swept under the carpet. The list is growing: Gideon Akaluka, Christiana Oluwatosin Oluwasesin, Florence Chukwu, Abdallahi Umar, Methodus Chiamajie, Eunice Elisha Olawale, Bridget Agbahime, Tudun Wada and now, Deborah Yakubu in Sokoto, culprits have never been arrested; and when arrested, like we have been told in this new case, no prosecution is made, and no one is punished.
“This gives us a conviction that in some parts of Northern Nigeria, anyone is free to kill Christians at the slightest disagreement and will go scot-free. Christians in Nigeria cannot continue to stomach the barbarity of these Islamic fanatics holding the nation by the jugular.
“If Northern Nigeria is truly ready to transit from the Hobbesian state of nature to modern society, the time is now for the northern leaders, especially their governors, to revisit the state of mind of their youths, many of whom are still living 15th century in a 21st century, dragging Nigeria backwards in all fronts.
“We are glad to hear from enlightened Muslims that Islam is peace. But how can this be justified when the regular manifestation we see from the headquarters of Islam is that of intolerance and killing of innocent souls with no one punished.”
NACJourn advised Christians in Northern Nigeria to avoid religious discussions and arguments with people who are not of the same faith as them.
It stressed: “They should be very careful in their associations with the bad eggs amongst the northern youths, those that have visible character traits of intolerance.
“This killing is too frequent and unacceptable. We want Christians to stay alive rather than become martyrs, to do the work Jesus gave us in Matthew 28.
“We call on all Christian leaders and associations across Nigeria and Africa to note this latest killing and mark our fears that nothing will be done about it beyond the verbal condemnations by the authorities concerned.
“We enjoin our Muslim brothers and sisters in Southern Nigeria not to keep quiet about this killing. We want them to realise that keeping quiet in matters like this makes them complicit.
“The time is now for the southern Muslims to affect their northern counterparts with adequate information on the truth of Islam and how to practice it with enlightened minds.