October 4, 2022

Peace has gradually returned to Sokoto following the 24 hours curfew imposed by the state government after Saturday’s violent protests.

The protesters were demanding the release of the two suspects arrested by the police in connection with the killing of Deborah Samuel, a second level female student of Shehu Shagari College of Education, Sokoto over blasphemy against Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). Our reporter who visited some of the volatile areas observed the presence of heavily armed security operatives who were enforcing the 24-hours curfew already imposed by the state government.

These areas include Emir Yahya Road, Kanwuri (where the Sultan’s palace is located), Ahmadu Bello Way and Aliyu Jodi Road.

However, shops and markets were still under locks and keys, thus making it difficult for residents to get some of their basic needs.

One of the residents told Daily Trust that the operatives came to their area and forced all shop owners to close and even pay fines.

Our reporter also observed that security operatives used their vehicles to block roads and only allowed passages to essential workers after a thorough search.

However, the spokesman of the Sokoto State Police Command could not be reached for comments at the time of filing this report.

Meanwhile, the Northern Governors Forum has condemned the killing of the student, describing it as a case of using an extra-judicial measure to address the perceived infraction.

Chairman of the forum and governor of Plateau State, Simon Lalong, in a statement yesterday warned that any attempt to adopt self-help in addressing grievances whether religious or otherwise would only lead to further chaos that could threaten law and order as well as the general peace and security of the society.

Lalong while commiserating with the victim’s family, said the northern governors had demanded that the security agencies be allowed to thoroughly investigate the matter and ensure that the law took its full course on anyone found wanting.

The governors, however, appealed for calm following reports of the hijack of a peaceful protest which later turned violent and led to the imposition of a curfew in the Sokoto metropolis.

The forum commended Governor Aminu Tambuwal for taking proactive efforts to restore normalcy in the state.

It assured of the governors readiness in dealing with the matter and ensuring that all necessary measures were taken to forestall future occurrence in any part of the region and nation at large.

The forum urged Nigerians to continue to show love, tolerance and respect for one another irrespective of faith, ethnicity, or other affiliations.

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