Deborah's Killing: Bishop Kukah Suspends Catholic Masses in Sokoto, Speaks on Alleged Attack on Residence

Deborah's Killing: Bishop Kukah Suspends Catholic Masses in Sokoto, Speaks on Alleged Attack on Residence

  • Bishop Matthew Kukah of Sokoto diocese has debunked the viral reports that his residence was set on fire in Sokoto state
  • The cleric who has announced the suspension of Catholic masses in Sokoto, however, confirmed that torched two of the parishes presided by were torched
  • Kukah's parishes were targeted by some hoodlums protesting the arrest of two suspects linked with the killing of Deborah Samuel over alleged blasphemy

Sokoko - The Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Sokoto, Matthew Hassan-Kukah, has suspended all Masses in Sokoto metropolis.

This was contained in a statement on Saturday, May 14, signed by the Director, Social Communications of the Catholic Diocese of Sokoto, Rev. Fr Christopher Omotosho, The Punch reported.

Deborah's Killing, Bishop Kukah, Catholic Masses in Sokoto, Kukah's Residence
Head of the National Peace Committee (NPC) General Abdulsalami Abubakar (L) arrives with Bishop Matthew Hassan Kukah to witness the signing of a peace accord in Anambra. Photo: PIUS UTOMI EKPEI/AFP
Source: Getty Images

Protest in Sokoto: Kukah’s residence not attacked

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Meanwhile, Omotosho debunked the reports claiming that Kukah’s residence was attacked, according to TheCable.

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He, however, confirmed that some rampaging hoodlums vandalised and torched two of the parishes presided over by the fiery preacher.

The statement read:

“The Sokoto State Government has declared 24-hour curfew to help stem the ongoing protests embarked upon by Muslim youth in the state capital today.
“During the protest, groups of youths led by some adults in the background attacked the Holy Family Catholic Cathedral at Bello Way, destroying church glass windows, those of the Bishop Lawton Secretariat were also attacked and a community bus parked within the premises vandalised.
“St. Kevin’s Catholic Church Gidan Dere, Eastern By-pass, was also attacked and partly burnt; windows of the new hospital complex under construction, in the same premises were shattered.

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“They were promptly dispersed by a team of Mobile policemen before they could do further damage.
“The hoodlums also attacked the Bakhita Centre located along Aliyu Jodi Road and burnt down a bus within the premises.”

How the Sokoto unrest started

On Thursday, May 12, Deborah Samuel, a 200-level Home Economics student of Shehu Shagari College of Education in Sokoto, was murdered over alleged blasphemy.

Reacting, Kukah described the killing as criminal and called on the authorities to ensure “those who are guilty of this inhuman act, no matter their motivation, are punished according to the extant laws of our land.”

The police later said two suspects had been arrested in connection with the killing of Deborah who was mauled and burnt to death on the school premises for alleged blasphemy against Prophet Muhammad (SAW).

The school management had shut down indefinitely.

Bishop Kukah commends security forces

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Bishop Kukah has commended the security forces for promptly rising to the occasion to prevent further damage to the church’s facilities.

The Bishop added that no life was lost in the attacks.

He appealed to Christians to remain law-abiding and pray for the return of normalcy.

“All Masses in Sokoto metropolis have been suspended until the curfew is lifted,” the statement added.

Blasphemy: Buhari speaks on Sokoto student killing, demands probe

Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari has condemned the killing of Deborah by her school mates in Sokoto state.

In a statement released via the presidency’s official Twitter account on Friday, May 13, the president decried the mob action and ordered a probe into the incident.

“President @MBuhari strongly condemns the resort to self-help by the mob in Sokoto, resulting in violence, destruction and killing of a second year student of Shehu Shagari College of Education, Sokoto, Deborah Samuel, following an allegation that she had blasphemed Muhammad (SAW), the Prophet of Islam on Thursday," the statement read in part.


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