Christian Solidarity Worldwide – 13 May 2022 (excerpts)
CSW condemns the murder of Deborah Yakubu, a student in Sokoto state, northwest Nigeria, who was lynched on 12 May, following an unproven blasphemy allegation.
Ms Yakubu was a Level 200 Home Economics student and a member of the Evangelical Church in her home state of Niger. She was accused of blaspheming the Prophet Mohammed in a WhatsApp group chat, where she reportedly expressed frustration at the discrimination experienced by Christian students. There are also unconfirmed reports that she had rejected the advances of a Muslim student, who later made the allegation.
Video footage circulating on social media shows an unconscious and bloodied Ms Yakubu being stoned, beaten, and then immolated in a pile of tyres by a predominantly male mob who chanted “Allahu Akbar,” and continued to stone her and fuel the flames. In a video, a young man claims responsibility for Ms Yakubu’s murder, which he describes as good and justified. The college authorities had hidden Ms Yakubu in the security room following mounting threats to her life. However, her killers had dragged her out and burnt the building after killing her.
The Sultanate Council of Sokoto state “condemned the incident in its entirety” and “urged the security agencies to bring perpetrators of this unjustifiable incident to justice.” The Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese Mathew Kukah also condemned the murder “This matter must be treated as a criminal act and the law must take its course.”