* Narrates how DSS tried to save victim, assures Nigerians justice will be served
Bennett Oghifo in Lagos and Omon-Julius Onabu in Asaba
The Governor of Sokoto State, Aminu Tambuwal yesterday approved the immediate lifting of the curfew imposed on the state last week to curtail the spread of violence that followed the killing of Deborah Yakubu, a student of Shehu Shagari College of Education by some fanatical Muslim schoolboys who accused her of blaspheming Prophet Mohammed.
The governor also banned all forms of processions in the state until further notice.
On the same day, the governor, a PDP presidential aspirant, who was on a campaign visit to Asaba, Delta State, gave a detailed account of how the DSS tried to save Deborah, but were over-powered by the mob, assuring Nigerians that justice will be served.
Deborah was killed and her remains were set on fire by the extremists, two of whom have been arrested and arraigned by the Sokoto State Police Command.
Tambuwal’s announcement lifting the curfew is contained in a statement released yesterday by the state’s Commissioner for Information, Isah Galadanci.
The statement reads: “Acting on enabling powers under section 176 (2) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, section 1, 2, and 4 of the Public Order Act, and section 15 of Sokoto State Peace Preservation Law, the Governor of Sokoto State, Aminu Tambuwal, has, after due consultations, lifted the curfew imposed on Sokoto metropolis with immediate effect
“The Governor has urged the general public to be law-abiding and remain peaceful at all times, stressing the need for peaceful co-existence amongst the people in the state. He reiterated the need for peace as the necessary foundation for any meaningful development.”
‘Deborah: Justice Will be Served’
While speaking in Asaba, Delta State yesterday, Tambuwal assured Nigerians that justice will be served in the killing of Deborah.
Speaking with newsmen shortly after his meeting with PDP delegates in the Unity Hall, Government House Asaba, Tambuwal described the incident as unfortunate because “Sokoto is a peaceful place where people live peacefully irrespective of ethnic or religious differences.”
The governor said nobody has right to take laws into their hands, while also debunking the rumour that no attempt was made by security officials to save Deborah from the mob attack.
He said that personnel of the Department of State Security (DSS) got to the scene early and had rescued the victim to a safe place before the mob overpowered the DSS officials.
Tambuwal said, “The security agencies, particularly the DSS, were able to get to the school in time and they were actually able to get our sister, Deborah rescued from the hands of the mob initially. As they were mobilising forces from the military barrack and the police command, the mob was growing.
“As we speak, one of the DSS personnel that really attempted to save her is in hospital receiving treatment because he had a broken head and another one had a broken hand.
“So, they were actually overpowered. It is not as if she was left alone; there was rescue attempt by the DSS and they were where she was locked for safety but the mob overpowered them.
“It was not that the security agencies didn’t respond; maybe, they didn’t respond adequately, but there was a response.”
“Sokoto is one state where the state government, which l preside over, pays the school fees and give school materials to every student of Nigeria that is schooling in our public schools without discrimination.
“So, we don’t discriminate against our brothers who are from other parts of the country and we live peacefully.
“Normalcy has returned to Sokoto and the matter is in court and it is being tried. l can assure you that by the special grace of God, there will be justice in that matter.”
Tambuwal: Buhari’s Exclusion of South-East in Govt Fuelling Insecurity
Earlier yesterday, the Sokoto State Governor was in Imo State as part of his campaign for the presidential ticket of the PDP.
While addressing the Imo State chapter of the PDP on his presidential aspiration, Tambuwal said the insecurity in the South-east was a result of the exclusion of the people of the zone from the Muhammadu Buhari-led federal government.
The governor said his presidency, if elected, would quench insecurity in the zone by incorporating a large number of people from the zone into his administration.
According to him, the people of the zone feel cheated that Buhari left them out in the scheme of things in his regime.
He said, “Buhari has shortchanged the South-East. I was the one who advised Saraki to choose Ike Enweremadu to become his deputy in 2015. There is a complete case of exclusion of the people of South East. The head of the ten most important parastatals are not from South-East, including the CBN governor.
“None of the service chiefs is from the South-east. The president, the vice president, the Senate president, the deputy senate president, the speaker of the House of Representatives and his deputy are not from the South-east. Under my watch that can’t happen. Every part of this country will be carried along.
“South-east and Imo State in particular can’t be excluded. The PDP will win back Imo when I become president. Igbo people are industrial. You will find a partner in me. We are working together with our brothers in Sokoto. We have restored normalcy now in Sokoto State. I will be a president for all Nigerians.”
A former Governor of Imo State, Emeka Ihedioha, said that Tambuwal was the right person to lead the country after Buhari.
Ihedioha said that Tambuwal had the capacity to fix the country and foster religious harmony between Christians and Muslims.