Blasphemy: “What do you hope to achieve with this?” – Deborah’s classmate recounts final moments leading to her death; reveals how she pleaded for mercy before she was burnt alive.
While there is continued outrage to the killing of a Christian female student, Miss Deborah Samuel by a mob in Sokoto on Thursday over alleged blasphemy, a classmate of the deceased has narrated the moments that led to her death.
With the British Government and the Christian Association of Nigeria beckoning on the government to bring the perpetrators to justice and President Muhammadu Buhari ordering a probe into the incident, Deborah’s family and friends have been left to mourn her tragic death.
Speaking with Vanguard, one of the students of the college, who witnessed how Deborah was flogged, killed, and burnt revealed how the scene as the most horrible she has ever witnessed.
The student who gave her identity simply as Rakia, gave an account of how the voice note of the 25-year-old student escalated into an uncontrollable situation.
Speaking from her parents’ home in Gidan Kaya area of Sokoto State, the visibly shaken student told Vanguard,
“Deborah was my course mate. I just stepped into the class when the uproar on her voice note started.
It was her own course mates that started it. One of them said Deborah dared them by refusing to apologise when she was asked to. It all started with a debate on the upcoming examination on a general WhatsApp platform created for our course mates. One of the students asked her how she passed the last semester’s examination and in response, she said it was ‘Jesus o.’
“Immediately, about three other chats came in from two Muslims and one Christian, telling her to retract the statement. Two students from other departments who over heard some Muslim boys discussing the matter told Deborah’s close friends to prevail on her to retract the statement. But she replied via a voice note on the platform ‘Holy Ghost fire. Nothing will happen to me.
Is it by force that you guys will always be sending this religious stuff in this group? The group wasn’t created for that but rather as a notice on test, assignment, exam, etc, not this nonsense religious posts’
“We were made to understand that some young men were brought from outside before the outrage. I was in class when some of our course mates rushed in, saying ‘there is fire on the mountain o’.
“The Muslim students led the strangers to the class to look for her. In fear, those in the class tried to help her escape and took her to the security post from where they hoped to create a way for her to run outside Already, a cab was waiting outside to drive her straight to the police station. Unfortunately, the mob overpowered everyone who tried to save her. They even threatened to kill anyone who attempted to stand in their way.
“She was dragged out, flogged and stoned. The last word in her mouth was ‘what do you hope to achieve with this?’ By then some of our coursemates were making calls to some of our lecturers to save the situation. At a point, all the Christian students fled the school premises. It was when I got home that I heard she was set ablaze. Since the incident, I have been having a flash of her pleading expression. She pleaded for mercy and called out for help but it was far from her.
What a cruel way to die,” she said.
So many people have condemned the act including the Nigerian president.
As christians who lost one of their own are still mourning, Sokoto youth still took it to the streets to protest the arrest of the killers of Deborah, insists the killers should be released unconditionally.
Some of them attacked Catholic church in Sokoto and destroy its property.
May the soul of the martyr (Deborah) rest in peace.