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All Catholic Masses in Sokoto metropolis have been suspended

The Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Mathew Kukah, on Saturday said all Masses in Sokoto metropolis have been suspended until the curfew imposed by the State Government is lifted.

The 24-hour curfew was imposed after protests rocked parts of Sokoto city over the detention of two persons linked to the gruesome killing of Deborah Samuel.

In a statement sent to newsmen, Kukah called for calm and commended Governor Aminu Tambuwal for acting promptly by declaring the curfew.

During the protest, groups of youths led by some adults in the background, attacked the Holy Family Catholic Cathedral, destroying Church glass windows, those of the Bishop Lawton Secretariat and vandalized a community bus parked within the premises, Kukah said.

“They were promptly dispersed by a team of Mobile Policemen before they could do further damage,” the statement added.

“The hoodlums also attacked the Bakhita Centre located along Aliyu Jodi road and burnt down a bus within the premises.”

Kukah commended the security forces for promptly rising to the occasion to prevent further damage at our facilities, adding that no life was lost.

The Bishop appealed to Christians to remain law abiding and pray for the return of normalcy.

Deborah Samuel’s death has sparked outrage from various individuals and groups across the country, including the Christian community who demanded that her killers be brought to justice. Protest rocked the metropolis leading to destruction of properties by the muslim mob who were demanding the release of the perpetrators from Police custody. Deborah was killed and accused of blasphemy after asking that classmates stop posting religious contents in a class Whatsapp group.

Two Catholic churches in Sokoto metropolis have been attacked by protesters demanding the release of two suspects arrested over the lynching of a student, Deborah Samuel, for alleged blasphemy.

Residents of the areas confirmed the attacks on the two churches but said that reports that they were burnt down were false.

At Holy Fatima Catholic church on Ahmadu Bello way, the youth smashed windows and doors while a vehicle belonging to the community parked inside the church was also vandalised.

At the St Kelvin Catholic church in Gidan Dare area, the protesters destroyed some materials in the church and vandalised shops around the church.

Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State has declared a 24-hour curfew within the metropolis in a bid to prevent a curtail further spread of civil unrest trailing the death of Miss Deborah Samuel.

He announced the curfew on Saturday at the Government House in Sokoto, the state capital, in a statement made available to NewsWireNGR.

Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State has declared a 24-hour curfew within the metropolis in a bid to prevent a curtail further spread of civil unrest trailing the death of Miss Deborah Samuel.He announced the curfew on Saturday at the Government House in Sokoto, the state capital.

Deborah, a second-year student of the Shehu Shagari College of Education in Sokoto State, was killed on Thursday following an allegation that she had blasphemed Muhammad (SAW), the prophet of Islam.

According to the governor, the curfew has become necessary as the only option left for the government to prevent a breakdown of law and order in the state.

“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,” he said.

“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 measure with a view to the re-establishment of 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.”

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