Osun christians protest killing of Deborah Samuel, say it is ungodly, oppression of people of other faiths


By Richard Akintade, Osogbo

Scores of christians under the auspices of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) on Sunday staged a peaceful protest over the killing of Deborah Samuel, a 200-level female student of the Shehu Shagari College of Education, Sokoto, by some people they described as extremists.

Deborah was on May 12 stoned to death and set ablaze on the school premises by an angry mob over alleged blasphemy.

She was alleged to have cautioned her colleagues against posting religious materials on a WhatsApp group meant for assignments, a post some students found blasphemous.

The protesting christians were armed with placards with various inscription such as “We demand Justice for Deborah”, “Christianity is not second class religion”, “We condemn religious killings”, “Enough is Enough”, We say no to Islamic extremists”, No more killing in God’s name”, Killers of Deborah must be prosecuted”, Christians are not second class citizens”, Police stop the killing in Nigeria”, among others.

Addressing the protesters at the CAN office, Owode Ede, Osun State, the Chairman, CAN, Osun State branch, Rt. Reverend Amos Kayode Olu-Ogunrinde, described the killing of Deborah Samuel as ungodly and oppression of the people of other faiths.

Ogunrinde, who condemned the action of the killers of the deceased, described it as barbaric, just as he called on the governments and security agencies to bring the perpetrators to book so as serve as deterrent to others.

He charged the leadership of the Senate and House of Representatives as well as Sokoto House of Assembly to rise and condemn the act so as to let the people know that truly Nigeria has government that stands for justice.

“We have come together today in mass to represent the Christian community in the state of Osun to express our feeling, our sadness, to express our sorrow over the death of Deborah Samuel.

“We felt that the Killing of Deborah is a great Injustice to humanity, not only to christians along but to humanity because life is sacred for somebody to have taken life, for people to have connive to take life that can not be given to any human being, it’s a grievous offence before God and before humanity.

“We want to declare that the killing of Deborah Samuel is ungodly. The killing of Deborah Samuel is an opperession on the people of other faiths and we want to demand justice for this gruesome killing of Deborah.

“We have come together to cry to the whole world to know what’s happening in Nigeria and this has just happened in Sokoto state.

“We want the federal government of Nigeria under the leadership of President Muhammad Buhari to rise and say something over this Killings of Deborah, we want Tambuwa of Sokoto state to do more over the unjust killing of Deborah.

“We want the perpetrators of this evil to be brought to book, to be brought to justice, let them be tried, let them be prosecuted and the law takes its course so that this act of barbarism, taking of life anyhow and taking laws into their hands will stop in Nigeria.

“This is secular nation where we all own together. No particular person own Nigeria. No particular religion owns Nigeria, we own Nigeria together and we must coexist together in peace. Christianity is a religion of peace.

“Jesus Christ has taught us to pursue peace with all men and that’s what we are doing. We don’t want to take vengeance,” he said.

Echoing a similar views, Special Mother in Israel, Professor Dudusola Iyabode, the chairperson of Osun State women wing of CAN, described the killing of Deborah as callous and inhuman, saying the perpetrators should be brought to justice.

“Her killing is callous and highly barbaric. No right thinking human being should even think of taking the life of another person. In Christianity, we don’t encourage fight, we don’t go for violent.

“The master of our religion that we follow is a prince of peace and He commands us to be peaceful with everybody at all time so we don’t believe in killing people .

“There has been blasphemy everywhere. Some of these Islamic leaders have done a lot of blasphemies, condemning our Chris but you cannot see christians stand up say they want to kill them, that is because we understand the importance of living together in peace. As a mother, I want to say that Deborah was brutally murdered and justice should be done to her case.”

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