Sultan of Sokoto Palace Under Attack, As Muslim Youths Demand Release of Deborah’s Killers
The Sultan of Sokoto’s Palace was on Saturday under siege by the youth demanding the release of the alleged killers of Deborah Samuel.
The student, Deborah Samuel, was killed in a mob outrage, with the state government immediately closing down the school while police announced the arrest of two persons in connection with the incident.
The protests were caused by an alleged religious blasphemy made by Deborah, a student of Shehu Shagari College of Education, Sokoto, against the Islamic religion through a social media channel.
A combined team of security men, led by State Police Commissioner, Mr Kamaludden Okunlola, was deployed to the palace while protesters threw stones and attempted to burn the palace.
All the religious centres were also under tight security.
WeetalknaijaBlog learnt that groups of youths have taken over the streets, chanting songs and urging security agents to release the arrested persons.
The protesters burnt tyres on popular Ahmadu Bello Way, Emir Yahaya road, Kanwuri and other streets, forcing shop owners to close midday while most streets became empty.
Shouting “Allahu Akbar, God is great” while carrying different placards.
The protesters carried placards with inscriptions “Release(nd) our brothers,” “Muslims is not a terrorist,” in the presence of security officers.
WeetalknaijaBlog learnt that the protesters invaded some churches along with Ahmadu Bello way in the state capital, destroying their properties.
The building of Evangelical Church Winning All (ECWA) in the area was also reportedly set on fire by the irate youths.
“The Catholic church was attacked and scattered while the First ECWA church beside it has been burnt. Some Christians were injured. These youths also attacked some Igbo traders and destroyed their cars.
“Heard they are burning shops and stealing goods currently in city centres as well. Sadly, no intervention from the armed forces,” a Sokoto resident said.
The protest was organised by Isiyaku Malami, a Muslim devout who believes the murder suspects were protecting the integrity of the Prophet Muhammad (SAW).
“Peace be upon you, we are calling on all Muslims in Sokoto State, for a protest because of our brothers that have been arrested in defending our religion -Islam. Those who are uplifting the honour of our prophet SAW,” reads the protest message shared by Mr Malami to Muslims in the state.
Meanwhile, Gov. Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State on Saturday imposed 24 hours curfew to contain the rising protests across township streets over alleged religious blasphemy.
Tambuwal, in a broadcast, called on the people to remain indoors as security operatives were being deployed to safeguard lives and properties.
”By the powers conferred on me by sections 176(2) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and sections 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 for the next 24 hours,” Tambuwal declared.
He further appealed to the people of the state to kindly continue to observe law and order and calm down the restiveness currently pervading the metropolis.
”Everyone should please, in the interest of peace, go back home and observe these measures, to reestablish peace, law and order in the state.
”It is not in the interest of anyone for us to have a breakdown of law and order. I, therefore, appeal for restraint and, for people to observe and respect the rule of law,” he said.