Arewa Christians and Indigenous Pastors Association (ACIPA) has described as despicable, shameful and barbaric the recent murder of Miss Deborah Emmanuel Yakubu, an N.C.E 11 student of Shehu Shagari College of Education Sokoto by an Islamic mob of fellow students of the higher institution in Sokoto.
The Christian body condemned the passive response of Nigeria’s president, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (rtd) and the silence of some top presidential aspirants in the forthcoming 2023 presidential election like former Vice President Atiku Abubakar and a former governor of Lagos State, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu on the gruesome murder of Deborah Yakubu by the irate Islamic fundamentalists.
In a statement titled: “The murder of Miss Deborah, Incitement, Islamisation and the inherent threat to our corporate existence, signed by its chairman, Rev. Luke Shehu, ACIPA lamented as shocking and unimaginable the gruesome murder of Miss Yakubu in an institution of higher learning by some of her colleagues over alleged blasphemy of the Prophet of Islam by the victim; Deborah Yakubu, a Christian.
Rev. Luke Shehu, Chairman, Arewa Christians and Pastors Association (ACIPA)
In the statement that the Christian body copied several authorities, seeking justice for the late Miss Deborah Yakuku, ACIPA noted that the perpetrators of the heinous act were drunk under the opiates of radical Islamic clerics. Below is the detail of the statement obtained by Christian Benefits magazine.
The attention of Arewa Christians and Indigenous Pastors Association (ACIPA) has been drawn to the despicable, shameful and barbaric murder of Miss. Deborah Emmanuel Yakubu, a Christian and an N.C.E II student of Home Economics Department at Shehu Shagari College of Education in Sokoto State. The Late Miss. Deborah Emmanuel Yakubu hailed from Sakaba Local Government of Kebbi State while her family resides at Rijau Local Government of Niger State.
The gruesome murder of Miss. Deborah Emmanuel Yakubu in an institution of higher learning and carried out by student colleagues as a result of blasphemy of the Prophet of Islam as an action in defense of their religion, Islam, is shocking as it is unimaginable!
We are not surprised that the perpetrators of this heinous act are drunk under the opiates of radical Islamic clerics as there are video evidence(s) to proof.
We have waited to hear the responses of President Muhammadu Buhari, the Sokoto state government and in particular that of His Eminence, the Sultan of Sokoto.
ACIPA, hereby commends the Sultan’s timely and matured, exemplary response. Also we commend the fatherly and exemplary Ecclesiastical leadership of the Most Reverend Father Matthew Hassan Kukah, the Catholic Bishop of Sokoto over his response to the incidence.
We as Christians have since seen the light and power of Christ Jesus who fight for His name and religion. If Muslims choose to fight for their Prophet or Holy book, let it be on those Muslims who subscribe to Islamic Sharia.
ACIPA, after due consultations amongst fellow Christians in the North and across southern Nigeria, have found it imperative to make this statement. This is obvious considering the slide to anarchy and state of lawlessness which may soon result into Nigeria being one of the failed states. Already, there are confirmed evidences to proof our failing to failed status as a state despite the constant denial by our clueless government.
The Federal Government, Sokoto state government and the security operatives have failed in their responsibilities by not restraining and calling Islamic clerics who have been propagating inciting and hateful messages particularly against Christians.
The inciting, intolerant and hateful messages of radical Islamic clerics who include the likes of Dr. Abdullah Gadon kaya is a kind of Fatwah even before the act of blasphemy.
The position of the Abuja central Mosque Chief Imam, Professor Ibrahim Maqari supporting the murder of Deborah Emmanuel Yakubu confirmed our position will regards to support of high ranking Muslim clerics and some politicians as far as the promotion of radical Islamic ideology and jurisprudence is concerned.
In view of the pronouncement of the Abuja central Mosque Imam endorsing and commending the actions of the murderers of Deborah for “crossing” Islam’s “redline”, he should be immediately reprimanded to serve as an example to other clerics who share in this radical Islamist ideology and superiority.
Arewa, Nigerian Christians and indeed the totality of Nigerians want to know if the Sharia supersedes the Nigerian Constitution and if Sharia laws should be applicable to Christians in a secular Nigeria. If indeed the Koran and Sharia Islamic Jurisprudence supersede our Constitutions, then obviously this is the time that we, the Northern and middle belt Christians begin to renegotiate our existence under a questionable equality and Constitutional rights provision to Nigerians.
From our findings, over ninety percent (90%) of Muslims believe that the murder of Miss Deborah Emmanuel Yakubu on Thursday 12th May, 2022 was justified because she blasphemed against the Prophet of Islam.
Little wonder President Muhammadu Buhari as a father to the nation chose to be silent over the murder of Miss Deborah Emmanuel Yakubu. On the other side, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, a Muslim and top presidential aspirant in PDP retracted his earlier post condemning the cold blooded murder. Also, Asiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu a Muslim and one of the top contenders to the position of President in APC chooses to be silent. Thus the obvious have been confirmed; that the political battle line in Nigeria is a contest for dominance over Christians and the imposition of Sharia as well as Islamization by the Muslims in all spheres. This is unacceptable.
It is disheartening to find out that the President of Nigeria and two top Muslim aspirants choose to look the other side in the case of the cold blooded murder of Miss Deborah. This has defined who they are and rightly placed them within our purview. We in ACIPA and indeed a generality of Christians have no place for those who are sentimentally bias against us or those whose bigotry have been shielded over the years.
In view of the fourth coming presidential primaries and the subsequent general elections in 2023 and with the intelligence at our disposal we are already aware of the machinations and conspiracies to impose a stooge at the behest of the Northern Islamist kingmaker as the president of Nigeria in 2023. This also is unacceptable.
In our statement of Sunday 8th May, 2022 we have mentioned evidence proving the infiltration of the armed forces by radical elements and personnel’s sympathetic to Islam, as confirmed from official quarters.
We wish to state unambiguously that the superiority and dominance mentality in the psyche of Muslims in the Armed Forces, the army in particular and other sectors as recently proven with the murder of Miss Deborah is not unconnected to the introduction of Sharia and radical Islamic clerics’ pronouncements.
The Arabic inscription on the crest of the Nigerian army is a factor responsible for gradual Islamic superiority and religious bigotry in the Nigerian Army.
Also, it is common knowledge that since the introduction of Sharia by some Northern states governments, the wave of radicalization, terrorism as well as inciting and hateful messages by some Islamic clerics including Sheik Yahaya Jengre of Jos have been on the increase.
In view of the above, the inherent dangers and risk of a circle of vendetta that may lead to religious war, we hereby demand the following:
That from now henceforth, the Federal Government, Security Operatives, State Governments with particular reference to Sokoto, Kano, Kebbi, Zamfara, Katsina, Borno, Yobe, Niger and Jigawa state governments should call all Islamic clerics known for hate and insightful speeches to order with immediate effect.
We call on the Federal Government to compel the Nigerian Army to change the Arabic inscription on the Nigerian Army crescent to English our common and acceptable language.
We demand that the Sokoto state government and Islamic council of Sokoto Should render public apology over the murder of Miss Deborah Yakubu. Doing this will confirm their non-endorsement of such barbaric act and condoning such insightful and hateful messages and actions leading to repeat such occurrences.
In view of the wide acceptance, celebration and justification of the gruesome murder of Miss Deborah Yakubu by some Muslims, the sultanate, Sokoto state government and Northern State governments should go beyond condemning the act, calling for peace and prosecution of the perpetrators.
The sultanate, states and federal government should place and order and law against Islamic clerics directing Muslims to kill those who blaspheme against the Prophet of Islam or the Holy Koran. Such laws should be applicable to Muslims only.
We demand that the Sokoto state government should immediately and without hesitation render apology and make necessary compensations (Diya) to the family of late Miss. Deborah Yakubu.
In conclusion, we are watching carefully the events unfolding with regards the Sokoto state government handling of the arrest and prosecution of the perpetrators of this heinous crime in accordance to the extant laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. It is obvious that failure of the government to execute justice without delay as well as doing the needful, this and others may have consequences in the short or long term.
Once more, we extend our condolences and prayers of comfort to the family and friends of Late Miss. Deborah Yakubu.
Rev. Luke Shehu
CC: – Office of NSA
His Eminence the Sultan of Sokoto
The Executive Governor of Sokoto
Northern State Governors
Nigeria Christian Elders Forum
Northern Christian Traditional Rulers Association
Nigerian Council of Religious Affairs
Nigerian Governors Forum