Civil rights advocacy group, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), on Sunday, accused some of the 19 governors in the whole of northern Nigeria of introducing policies that promotes the grooming of fanatics and Islamic extremists. The Rights group accused some of the governors of cornering substantial resources of their states to promote and elevate one religion as a state religion in clear breach of Section 10 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria of 1999 as amended.
HURIWA, in a statement by its National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, said the inaction of the 18 Muslim northern governors and their failure to strongly condemn the mob murder of alleged blasphemers were some of the ways the governors were aiding the heinous and barbaric acts.
The Rights group said when state governors in most Northern States corner public resources to build places of Worship, sponsor feedings of their Moslem citizens during religious fasting seasons, and deny certification for land ownership for Churches, then religious Islamic extremists will believe that they can do just anything in the name of their chosen religion including beheading or stoning to death of alleged blasphemers and nothing will happen to them and the truth is that they have been killing alleged blasphemers and are getting away with their crimes.
The Rights group said it was very unfortunate and condemnable too that northern Muslim governors (excluding Governor Darius Ishaku of Taraba State) have failed to prosecute arrested killers of accused ‘blasphemers’. Instead, they free the cold-blooded killers to continue their barbarism all in the name of religion.
HURIWA doubted that any of the arrested suspected killers of Deborah Yakubu would be brought to book, noting that Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State would be pressured to hide under the so-called riot in the state on Saturday to free the murderers of the Christian youth, a 200-level Home Economics student of the Shehu Shagari College of Education in Sokoto who was stoned to death for alleged blasphemy.
HURIWA’s Onwubiko said, “The murder of Miss Deborah Samuel Yakubu in Sokoto is barbaric and sadistic. It is frightening and disturbing, the near certainty that she won’t get justice given the antecedents of most governments in the core Muslim North that tolerate Islamic fundamentalism because most of the governors owe their elections to Islamic fanatics and indeed import Islamists from Niger and Chad to perpetuate electoral robbery.
“Most of the population of those northern states tolerate fanaticism such as mob justice for perceived and unproven allegations linked to what they termed as blasphemy. This is exactly why most Southerners have strong feelings that the much talked about one Nigeria is a fallacy because if in a Country some killers are left to roam about freely and the state governors use the apparatus of the government to protect them, then right thinking citizens are right to interrogate the essence of remaining in the same political entity with people who tolerate barbaric acts of killings of their fellow citizens on very whimsical and flimsy excuses as against the provision of the Grund Norm in Section 33(1) which absolutely prohibits extrajudicial execution of citizens.
“The cases are long. There has not been any justice for Gideon Akaluka who was beheaded in Kano for allegedly desecrating the Holy Scripture of Moslems. There has been no justice for Bridget Agbahwe killed in Kano for alleged blasphemy. There has not been any justice for Christianah Oluwasesin who was lynched by her students in Gombe after they accused her of desecrating the Holy Book whereas the students cheated in the exam hall.
“There has been no justice for Grace Ushang, a youth corper, who was raped and murdered in Borno by Islamic extremist for wearing NYSC Khaki trousers. There has been no justice for Eunice Olawale, who was decapitated in Abuja during an early morning evangelism. Most of these except that of Akaluka incidents happened between 2015 and now.
“Instead of prosecuting the killers, the governors, and the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory blinded by religion, relish in setting them free just like they are setting free arrested Boko Haram and ISWAP fighters all in the name of senseless rehabilitation.
“Section 10 of the 1999 constitution states that ‘The government of the federation or of a state shall not adopt any religion as state religion.’ And the punishment for murder is explicit in the laws of the land.
“HURIWA enjoins all Nigerians of conscience including moderate Moslems, atheists and adherents of African traditional Religions to come out enmasse as announced by the Christian Association of Nigeria and protest the killing of Deborah to pressure the Federal government to serve justice on the matter and for her killers to be punished according to extant laws.”
HURIWA also condemned the burning of shops and Churches in Sokoto State by unruly mobs demanding freedom for the few accused killers of Deborah Yakubu Samuel arrested by the Police just as the Rights group said the Sokoto State Police Command can’t be trusted to swiftly arrest the killers given that the state police command is already circulating the half baked propaganda that the killer of Deborah is from Niger Republic- a conspiracy theory that the Rights group dismissed as wishy-washy because from all available evidence most of the killers of the Christian Students were her Classmates and school mates who were assisted by some mobs allegedly hired from outside the school.
HURIWA has also warned that should the death of Deborah be treated like many others in the recent past that were swept under the carpets by the Northern governors, then it will be assumed that the Federal Government has permitted that reprisals should occur because the reason for the existence of government is to protect lives and property of the citizens and whereby the government fails, the people will have no other option but to embrace self help measures.
National Coordinator – HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA)
May 15, 2022