23rd May, 2022
13 Muslim groups under the umbrella of Muslims United for Peace and Justice on Sunday called on the federal government to ensure justice for the killers of Deborah Samuel.
Samuel, a student of Shehu Shagari College of Education, Sokoto was lynched over alleged blasphemy.
The groups urged the federal and state governments to strengthen or promulgate laws to criminalize blasphemy and killing for blasphemy outside the law, and faithfully enforce them.
Addressing a press conference in Lagos, alongside other Muslim leaders, the Executive Director of Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), Professor Ishaq Akintola, appealed for justice against the killers, irrespective of the nature of their motivation or the justification they claimed.
According to him, the tragic event could be utilized as a turning point in Muslim-Christian relations and herald a new peaceful co-existence.
He added that these were achievable ideals if each religious adherent would embrace and sincerely practice the sublime messages of their faith.
He urged Christians to employ all means to fend-off intolerance and called for deep introspection by leaders of the Christian community.
“We express strong solidarity with voices of reason and moderation amongst scholars of Islam and declare readiness to continue working together to strengthen the pillars of national peace, reconciliation and understanding.
“We urge leaders of faiths to continue to enlighten and educate adherents on the need for mutual respect, to focus on messages of love and work against voices of hatred and extremism amongst them,” Akintola said.