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Sokoto Govt. shuts down Shagari College indefinitely over female student’s death

By Monsurudeen Olowoopejo

Following the murder of a student of Shehu Shagari College of Education in Sokoto, Deborah Samuel, over alleged blasphemy, the State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal, has shut down the tertiary institution indefinitely to prevent further breakdown of law and order.

Tambuwal also directed that the Sokoto Police Command and the Ministry of Higher education should immediately commence investigations as well as arrest all perpetrators of the act in the state.

The directive came hours after the deceased student was alleged to have made a blasphemous statement on the Islamic injunctions and was beaten to a pulp by male students as well as set her ablaze in spite of the school security personnel efforts to avert the tragedy.

The governor’s directives to close the school were revealed through a statement released by the Commissioner for information, Isah Galadanci, on Thursday at the State House.

According to the statement: “I have directed the Ministry of Higher education and relevant security agencies in the state to commence investigations into the remote and immediate causes of the incident and report back to the government”.

He, meanwhile, called on the people of the state to remain calm and maintain peace as the government would take appropriate actions on the findings of the investigations by the relevant authority.

Deborah, an NCE II student in the Department of Early Childhood Education, was stoned to death and burnt to ashes by yet-to-be-identified schoolmates over a comment in a class group chat considered to be blasphemous.

A school source however has debunked the claim, stating that she was rather ‘falsely accused of blasphemy’ for turning down a proposal to date a schoolmate of the other faith.

The deceased had kicked against the discriminatory treatment in the state-owned tertiary institution against students of her faith. This, according to reports led to her stoning to death with trump up charges of blasphemy.

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