The Death of Deborah Yakubu; the call for religious tolerance

The Death of Deborah Yakubu; the call for religious tolerance

The worst happened yesterday. A female student by the name of Deborah Yakubu, a student of Shehu Shagari College of Education, Sokoto was mobbed to death and later set on fire by her colleagues around the school premises. What was her offense; her killers claimed that she blasphemed against their dear Prophet, MUHAMMED; she insulted the prophet and the punishment was instant death.

According to the voice note that she sent to the class WhatsApp group that led to her death which she spoke in Hausa, the loose translation of it was; “Holy Ghost fire! nothing will happen to us. The group was not created for sending nonsense stuff. It was rather created to send past questions, if there is a test, or if we are given assignments not all these nonsense things. Which kind prophet, nonsense Prophet”.

Background: She was reacting to her colleagues always posting religious content in the WhatsApp group which was created solely for academic reasons. The colleagues being mostly Muslims didn’t take her reaction likely and decided to track her down, beat her to death then set her ablaze.

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Although her utterances were utterly derogatory and insulting, that should not be what will make her classmates track her down and attack her to death.

Before you panic, save your breath, this is not the first time that a person or people are mobbed to death and then set ablaze for blasphemy against prophet MUHAMMED in Northern Nigeria in recent times, it happened in Kano in 2016. What is more shocking is that the place where this took place is a higher institution of learning, the least place religious intolerance is expected to be in existence in 2022.

How can we still be struggling to save our heads and be cautious not to be hacked to death for blasphemy in Northern Nigeria in 2022? The most surprising thing is that most Northern Muslims saw nothing wrong with that, some are defending the act and quoting Quran to back it up that when you insult the prophet MUHAMMED you deserve to die.

Even those that occupy a high ranking position in society are openly defending the act even on social media. The excitement of the mobs while carrying out the act is dreadful; acts like these are barbaric and are only churned out of religious extremism or fanaticism and sheer ignorance.

We should learn to coexist in peace amongst one another despite the religion, tribe, state or skin pigmentation. It is humanity over religion, humanity over the tribe, humanity over race.

Religious leaders should educate their followers that we are not in the jungle where jungle justice is the order of the day, most of them are clearly ignorant and are always eager to take the law into their hands with the excitement that they are fighting the holy war or fighting for their god. There are institutions that have been put in place to address grievances and anybody who is aggrieved should approach those institutions to address their grievances, that is how it ought to be in a civilized society like Nigeria.

This should not be one of the mob actions that the law enforcement agencies will sweep under the carpet, they should do the needful and bring everybody who is part of this dastard act to justice, every single one of them. The punishment for murder in Nigeria is a death sentence, so nothing less is expected of the law enforcement and the judiciary; examples must be set to deter others from committing this kind of act in the future and be forced to learn religious tolerance and peaceful coexistence in Nigeria.


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