Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal, has declared a 24-hour curfew in the state with immediate effect.
According to a short statement released by the governor and shared on the government’s official Facebook page by his special adviser on media and publicity, Mohammed Bello, the curfew “is in pursuance of peace and order in Sokoto metropolis and the entire state following the death of a second-year student of Shehu Shagari College of Education, Sokoto.”
The new development was confirmed by a member of the media team of the governor, who does not want to be quoted, claiming he was not authorised to do so.
The statement, which quoted Mr Tambuwal, reads in part; “Following the sad incident that happened at the Shehu Shagari College of Education on Thursday and sequel to the developments within (Sokoto) metropolis this morning till afternoon, by the powers conferred on me by sections 176(2) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria; and section 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 of Sokoto township for the next 24 hours.
“I appeal to the good people of Sokoto State to kindly continue to observe law and order and calm down (on the) restiveness currently pervading in the metropolis.
“Everyone should, please, in the interest of peace go back home and observe this (these) measures, with a view of the reestablishment of peace, law and order in the state.”
The Sultan, in a statement, condemned the incident after the angry mobs killed Deborah and called security agencies to arrest the perpetrators. Other Muslim clerics and organisations have equally joined him in distancing Islam from mob actions and jungle justice.
Some residents of Sokoto State had on Saturday embarked on a “mass” protest against the arrest of two people suspected to be involved in the killing of a female student of Shehu Shagari College of Education, identified as Deborah Samuel, for alleged blasphemy.
A Christian student, Deborah was violently stoned to death and later set ablaze by angry mob, who are mostly students of the college.
Following the incident, the police in Sokoto said two suspects had been arrested and taken into custody.
According to the Sokoto police spokesman, Sanusi Abubakar, the mob overpowered campus security before killing the female student and setting her remains on fire.
However, a leaflet seen by NewsWireNGR on Saturday, written in Hausa, asked Muslims to come out en mass to protest against the arrest.
“We’re inviting Muslims in Sokoto to come and help them rescue our brothers that were arrested because they were defending Islam and uplifting prophet Muhammad S.A.W,” the leaflet read.
“Gawon Mama Roundabout is where they’ll meet; Time: 9am. For more details call those numbers.”
Read some of the accounts online as the protest turns violent.