Following Threats by Islamic Extremists, Atiku Deletes Facebook, Twitter Posts Condemning Deborah’s Murder

* Condemnations trail killing of student for alleged blasphemy in Sokoto

Chiemelie Ezeobi in Lagos and Onuminya Innocent in Sokoto

Following series of threats by some Islamic extremists on his social media handles, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, late last night deleted his condemnation of the murder of Deborah Samuel.

The deceased, a 200-level student of the Department of Home Economics, Shehu Shagari College of Education, Sokoto, was yesterday killed by an angry mob for allegedly blaspheming Prophet Muhammad.

Atiku had after the incidence which has continued to receive global condemnation, written: “There cannot be a justification for such gruesome murder. Deborah Yakubu was murdered, and all those behind her death must be brought to justice. My condolences to her family and friends.”

But storming his Facebook and Twitter pages, the extremists, mostly from the northern parts of the country, threatened not to vote for him in the forthcoming 2023 elections.

Warning him to jettison his condemnation of the cold-blooded murder, they also promised to mobilise against him.
While he did not engage them, he first deleted the post he made on Facebook and about an hour later, he also deleted that of Twitter.

The former vice president’s actions have since earned him the derision of most Nigerians, who accused him of always chickening out when the going gets tough, an action they termed ‘unpresidential’.

According to a source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, trouble started when there was heated argument on the departmental WhatsApp page between the deceased and her colleagues.

The arguments drew the attention of angry mob who stoned the lady and set her body ablaze.
Reacting to the incident, Sokoto State Commissioner of Information, Isa Bajini Galadanchi, said the situation was unfortunate.

He stated that Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, who is away, has directed that investigation into the matter should commence immediately.

“We just woke up this morning to hear this unfortunate news,” he stated.
He maintained that the Governor has directed the ministry of higher education and other related agencies to commence immediate investigation.

He urged everybody to remain calm as government would do everything to unravel the circumstances behind the incident.

He also said the government has directed immediate closure of the institution to forestall breaking down of law and order, just as military personnel have already been deployed to the school and other schools in area.
Meanwhile, the Sultan of Sokoto Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar has condemned the incident, saying nobody has right to take the laws into their hands.

He explained that the law enforcement agencies would be allowed to investigate the incident to bring the culprits to book, even as he condoled with the family of the deceased assuring that Justice must prevail.
However, the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has described the gruesome murder of Yakubu  as provocative and unfortunate.

In a statement, Catholic Diocese of Sokoto Bishop Hassan Kukah, said the killing of Yakubu  has no place in Nigeria extant law, Bible or Quran.
He explained that Christians and Muslims have lived peacefully together in Sokoto without having issues with each other.

He called on the Christians in the state to remain calm and be law abiding as there  are efforts to bring the perpetrators to book.
On his part the Nigeria Police Sokoto State Command confirmed the incident.
The Force Public Relations Officer, Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Sanusi Abubakar, said those that carried out the dastardly act block Sokoto Jega road.

According to him, on hearing about the incident,  the Commissioner of Police  Sokoto State Command Kola Okunlola, directed the Deputy Commissioner of Police Operation and members of SWAT to move to the scene.
He noted that before reaching there the mob have already killed the lady. He disclosed that two persons have been arrested in connection to the incident.

However, following series of threats by some Islamic extremists on his social media handles, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, late last night deleted his condemnation of the murder of Deborah  Yakubu.

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