CAN calls for nationwide protest, demand justice for Deborah Samuel

The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has called for a nationwide protest over the murder of Deborah Samuel, and demanded that her killers must be persecuted.

Deborah, a 200 level student of Shehu Shagari College of Education, Sokoto, was stoned to death and burnt by her colleagues over alleged blasphemy. But angry youths staged protest in major streets in the state to demand the release of some suspects arrested by the police for alleged involvement in the murder.

The protest eventually resulted in a riot in which some youths were seen destroying properties including churches, in videos circulating on social media.

In response, the CAN President, Olasupo Ayokunle, in a letter addressed to all bloc leaders, urged Christians to hold peaceful protests within their church premises on Sunday May 22, 2022.

Read also: Riot breaks out in Sokoto as youths demand release of Deborah’s killers

The letter dated May 14, 2022 and signed by CAN’s General Secretary, Joseph Daramola, reads: “I have been directed by the CAN President, His Eminence, Rev. Dr. Samson Olasupo A. Ayokunle, to request all Church Leaders, through your various Churches to organize a peaceful protest in honour of one of our daughters, Deborah Yakubu who was gruesomely murdered on Thursday, 12 May, 2022 at the Shehu Shagari College of Education, Sokoto in Sokoto State by some Islamic extremists.”

“The protest will take place on 22 May, 2022 in the afternoon by 3:00 Pm in every Secretariat of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) nationwide and not on the streets in order to avoid further loss of lives. Those without CAN’s Secretariat may use any church with big premises,” it added.

The Christian body directed members carrying placards with some messages like “We demand justice for Deborah,” “No more killing in God’s name”, “Enough is enough,” “Police, stop unprovoked killings in Nigeria,” “Christians are not secondclass citizens,” “killers of Deborah must be persecuted,” “we condemn religious killing,” “we say no to Islamic extremists.”

“We urge those who could afford it to make use of the traditional media and the social media and others can use only the social media to give it a wide coverage in other to sensitize the whole world. We also call on Nigerian Christians in diaspora to join us using our embassies all over the world.

“The occasion can also be used to pray for Deborah’s family and friends, peace for the country, victory for the Church and godly political leaders in the coming general election,” the statement added.

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