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Blasphemy: Classmate reveals Deborah Samuel’s last word before death

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Deborah Samuel

Deborah Samuel, a student of Shehu Shagari College Education, Sokoto, who was killed on Thursday for allegedly “making blasphemous statements about Prophet Muhammad (SAW) had pleaded for mercy and called out for help before she died.

One of Deborah’s coursemates, identified simply as Rakia, told Vanguard that the last word of the deceased was ‘what do you hope to achieve with this?’

Narrating the incident, she said Deborah was flogged, killed, and burnt and it was the most horrible thing she has ever witnessed.

“Deborah was my course mate. I just stepped into the class when the uproar on her voice note started.

”It was her own coursemates that started it. One of them said Deborah dared them by refusing to apologise when she was asked to. It all started with a debate on the upcoming examination on a general WhatsApp platform created for our coursemates. One of the students asked her how she passed the last semester’s examination and in response, she said it was ‘Jesus o.’

“Immediately, about three other chats came in from two Muslims and one Christian, telling her to retract the statement. Two students from other departments who overheard some Muslim boys discussing the matter told Deborah’s close friends to prevail on her to retract the statement. But she replied via a voice note on the platform ‘Holy Ghost fire. Nothing will happen to me.

”Is it by force that you guys will always be sending this religious stuff in this group? The group wasn’t created for that but rather as a notice on tests, assignments, exams, etc, not these nonsense religious posts’

“We were made to understand that some young men were brought from outside before the outrage. I was in class when some of our coursemates rushed in, saying ‘there is fire on the mountain o’.

Rakia further stated that the Muslim students led the strangers to the class to look for her, adding that some classmates tried to help Deborah escape as they had gotten a cab waiting outside to drive her straight to the police station but unfortunately, the mob overpowered everyone who tried to save her.

”The last word in her mouth was ‘what do you hope to achieve with this?’ By then some of our coursemates were making calls to some of our lecturers to save the situation. It was when I got home that I heard she was set ablaze. Since the incident, I have been having a flash of her pleading expression. She pleaded for mercy and called out for help but it was far from her. What a cruel way to die,” she said.

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PHOTOS: Buhari on condolence visit to UAE

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President Muhammadu Buhari is currently in Dubai on a condolence visit over the death of Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, president of the United Arab Emirates.

Zayed Al Nahyan died at the age of 73 on May 13, 2022.

The country’s ministry of presidential affairs had declared a 40-day state mourning with flag flown at half-mast and the suspension of work in the public and private sectors for three days.

Buhari departed Nigeria on Thursday and arrived in Dubai in the early hours of Friday.

He was accompanied by Zubairu Dada, minister of state foreign affairs; Isa Pantami, minister of communications and digital economy; Mohammed Bello, minister of federal capital territory, and Hadi Sirika, minister of aviation.

Below are photos.

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Protest in Abuja over council chairmen tenure extension

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Some residents of the Federal Capital Territory have taken to the streets to protest the tenure extension of six area councils’ chairmen and councillors.

The chairmen and councillors’ terms in office elapsed on Thursday and the newly-elected officials were supposed to be sworn in today.

But the FCT minister, Muhammad Bello, cited a court judgement and extended the officials’ tenure by one year.

Displeased by the extension, residents in the Gwagwalada Area Council on Friday morning took to the streets.

The residents, who barricaded the roads and made bonfires, are demanding a reversal of the decision.

The incident, it was gathered, obstructed vehicular movements in the area.

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Nigerian government moves to end ASUU, poly lecturers strikes, begins arrears payment

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ASUU

The Federal Government has commenced the payment of minimum wage arrears, which it owed lecturers under the aegis of the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) and Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) as part of efforts to end ongoing strikes by the unions, The PUNCH has learnt.

The National President of ASUP, Dr. Anderson Ezeibe, and the Chairman, ASUU FUTMinna, Dr. Gbolahan Bolarin, confirmed this in separate interviews in Abuja on Thursday.

The two unions are currently on strike following the inability of the government to meet their demands including the payment of minimum wage arrears and release of revitalisation funds, among others.

While ASUU commenced its strike on February 14, 2022, ASUP is currently on an initial two-week warning strike.

Confirming the payment on Thursday, Ezeibe, however, said that was just the beginning.

He said, “The government has started responding. They just started paying the salary/minimum wage arrears, the one they have refused to pay.

“However, that is just one of the demands, so we have not reached anywhere. They have not attended to the others, but I can confirm that people have started receiving alerts of the arrears owed.”

Also, Bolarin, said, “Some of my members got alert of their minimum wage arrears; their salaries are still pending.”

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