The Diversity Bridge Builders Collective (DBBC), a group of advocates for true inclusion, zero prejudice, and peaceful coexistence, has stated that Governor of Sokoto State, Aminu Tambuwal, should not be blamed for the state’s unfortunate developments following the heinous murder of Deborah Yakubu by a group of enraged Muslim youths.
Miss Yakubu, a student at Sokoto’s Shehu Shagari College of Education, was slain by a mob after being accused of blasphemy against the Muslim religion. The arrest of several of the alleged perpetrators sparked protests in Sokoto, prompting the state administration to declare a 24-hour curfew.
Apart from the curfew, additional actions taken by the governor to address the problem are claimed to be underway across the state.
Dr. Fend Mancha, the DBBC’s national coordinator, said in an Abuja statement on Monday that what has happened in Sokoto since the tragic incident, particularly the tendency in some quarters to turn the protest into a violent riot and wanton destruction, is reprehensible, and that all religious and political leaders in the region, particularly in Sokoto, must come together to ensure the restoration of peace and unity among the people, irrespective of faith and ethnicity.
He stated that, while Governor Tambuwal is a politician with presidential ambitions, the current issue in his state should not be politicised in an attempt to harm his dreams or utilised by political opponents to obtain political capital at the expense of the people.
Religious difficulties in the northern states are always delicate and sensitive, according to the statement, and must be handled with tact and utmost diplomacy, lest they escalate into more serious problems of catastrophic proportions that may not be in the best interests of the people.
As a result, it urges people to be more hesitant in making provocative conjectures and statements, instead applauding the governor’s efforts and rallying behind him and the people of Sokoto in pursuit of a lawful resolution of the concerns.
According to DBBC, the governor’s proactive steps so far, such as declaring a 24-hour curfew and other measures in collaboration with religious leaders in the state to prevent further breakdown of law and order, should be supported and commended, just as the respected Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Dr. Hassan Kukah, and the Northern Governors’ Forum have done in their recent statements.
While it is the government’s job to safeguard citizens’ lives and property, Dr. Mancha asserted that “security in our society should be everyone’s business,” because “any act of insecurity impacts everyone in our society, either directly or indirectly.”
“As a result, we must not play politics with the people’s security and tranquillity.” What has happened should worry every well-intentioned Nigerian, regardless of faith. And we are grateful that now is the time for each of us to speak with our consciences and preach the true message of love, peaceful coexistence, mutual respect, and tolerance. This isn’t simply about religion and our various beliefs. It concerns humanity. It’s about life’s sacredness and sanctity. It everything comes down to law and order. It is about peace, which is necessary for genuine growth and politics.
“Rather than negative politics with the purpose to harm one another for selfish reasons,” Dr. Mancha stated, “let us preach and promote these concepts for peace, stability, unity, and sustainability of our nation.”