The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari(retd) has reacted to the gruesome murder of Deborah Samuel over the alleged blasphemy of Prophet Muhammad.
The killing of Deborah, a Christain 200-level student of Shehu Shagari College of Education Sokoto, on Thursday morning, sparked outrage on social media with many Nigerians calling on the government to arrest the perpetrators, including one of the students who confessed to the crime in the viral video showing the brutal act.
However, in a statement released on Friday evening, Buhari “strongly condemns the resort to self-help by the mob in Sokoto, resulting in violence, destruction and killing of” Deborah.
President Buhari said the “news of the killing of the young lady by fellow students was a matter of concern and demanded an impartial, extensive probe into all that happened before and during the incident.”
The President noted that “Muslims all over the world demand respect for the Holy Prophets, incl Isah (Alaihissalaam, Jesus Christ) & Muhammad (SAW) but where transgressions occur, as alleged to be the case in this instance, the law does not allow anyone takes matters into their hands.
“Moreover, religious leaders preach that it is not for the believer to judge the actions of another person. The constituted authority must be allowed to deal with such matters when they arise.
“No person has the right to take the law into his or her own hands in this country. Violence has and never will solve any problem.”
As such, Buhari also “directed the Ministries of Information and Culture, Police Affairs, and that of Communications and Digital Economy, to work with GSM providers and Tech companies to help contain the spread of false and inflammatory information through social media.
The President extended the nation’s condolences to the family of the deceased student and wished all those injured a quick recovery.
He commended the immediate response to the incident by the Sokoto State Government and urged religious and community leaders to call citizens’ attention to the need to exercise the right to freedom of speech responsibly.
President Buhari called for tempered comments by the media and calm among the general population while the investigation is ongoing to find out the remote and immediate causes of the incident.