Deborah: Sokoto declares curfew after violent protests

Deborah: Sokoto declares curfew after violent protests

Saturday, May 14, 2022 4:39 pm

Protesters calling for release of suspects arrested over murder of Deborah Samuel in Sokoto on Saturday

Protesters calling for release of suspects arrested over murder of Deborah Samuel in Sokoto on Saturday ( photo credit: BBC)

Governor Aminu Tambuwal has declared a 24-hour curfew in the metropolis of Sokoto township with immediate effect following protests over the arrest of suspects linked to the murder of Deborah Samuel, a female student of a College of Education in the state earlier on Saturday.

Special adviser on media and publicity to Aminu Tambuwal, the state governor, Mohammed Bello announced the curfew in a statement late Saturday afternoon.

The Governor also begged the protesters to return home in the interest of peace law and order in the state.

The statement, reads in part: “Following the sad incident that happened at the Shehu Shagari College of Education on Thursday and sequel to the developments within (Sokoto) metropolis this morning till afternoon, by the powers conferred on me by sections 176(2) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria; and section 1 and 4 of the Public Order Act; and, also Section 15 of Sokoto State Peace Preservation Law, I hereby declare, with immediate effect, a curfew within (Sokoto) metropolis of Sokoto township for the next 24 hours.

“I appeal to the good people of Sokoto State to kindly continue to observe law and order and calm down (on the) restiveness currently pervading in the metropolis.

“Everyone should, please, in the interest of peace go back home and observe this (these) measures, with a view of the reestablishment of peace, law and order in the state.”

“I, therefore, appeal for restraint; and, for people to observe and respect the rule of law.”

The Police had on Thursday evening announced arrest of two suspects over murder of Deborah who was lynched on Thursday over allegation of blasphemy against Muhammed, a prophet of Islam.

The deceased was violently stoned to death and later set ablaze by the angry mob, who are mostly students of the college.

But some youths had taken to the streets with placards calling for the release of the arrested suspects early Sasturday morning.

The protesters who shut down some of the major roads like King House, Bello Way, Kofar Taranmiya, Gidan Saki and Aliyu Jodi in Sokoto, reportedly attacked the Sultan’s palace with stones.

They asked the Sultan to intervene and ensure the release of the suspects who they described as their Muslim brothers.

ICIR quoted a resident of Sokoto as confirming that part of a Catholic Church in Bello’s road and a court close to the Sultan’s palace were set ablaze by the protesters.

Also, video provided by the source showed how some youths were stoning, scattering, and destabilizing the building of the Catholic church.

“I have been in the shop since morning. I must tell you that I am very lucky to be alive. My shop is closer to the Sultan’s palace. I have been locked inside my shop since the incident started.

“Soldiers just left this place. If not, I would have been beaten mercilessly if they heard my voice,” he said.

However, some of the youths also took advantage of the protest to loot shops and buildings.

A viral video showed soldiers and policemen shooting into the air and firing teargas to stop the protests.

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