The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has asked its members across the country to prepare for a nationwide peaceful protest over the murder of Deborah Samuel.
Deborah, a Shehu Shagari College of Education student, Sokoto, was mobbed and killed. Her corpse was set ablaze within the school premises Thursday, May 12, on an allegation of blasphemy by her Muslim colleagues.
CAN President, Rev. Samson Ayokunle Olasupo, in a letter to all CAN bloc leaders, zonal chairmen, state chairmen, local coordinators, and denominational and church leaders, asked them to prepare their members for the peaceful protest scheduled to hold on 22 May 2022, by 3:00 prompt.
CAN General Secretary, Joseph Bade Daramola, who signed the statement, explained that the peaceful action will not take place on the streets as usual in order to avoid further loss of lives but will take place at every secretariat of CAN nationwide, and those without CAN’s secretariat may use any church with extensive premises.
The statement read,
“Christian Association of Nigeria (19 Northern states and Abuja) is deeply saddened over the recent ugly development in Sokoto State that led to the gruesome murder of Miss Deborah Samuel, a 200-level female student of Shehu Shagari College of Education, Sokoto, for alleged blasphemy.
“The umbrella organization of all Christians in Northern Nigeria condemns this gruesome and barbaric murder of Deborah in the strongest terms possible.
“While CAN does not and will not encourage casting aspersions on any religion or religious leader of any faith, CAN frown at hiding under the gab of any religious extremism to perpetrate any form of criminality against her members, especially in Northern Nigeria. God Almighty is not and can never be a weak God for a mere mortal to fight and defend Him. On the contrary, it is He who keeps, watches, and defends us. CAN believes that life is sacred and must never be taken by another unless directed by the state.
“The CAN (19 Northern states and Abuja) is calling on the Federal Government under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari and the Sokoto State government under governor Aminu Tambuwal not to resort to the government’s usual rhetoric but must demonstrate political will and capacity to bring the perpetrators of this criminality to justice; otherwise, others may take a queue from this and turn our fatherland to a country of lawlessness at every slightest provocation.
“CAN believes that Nigeria is a country governed by the rule of law and order. Therefore, any act of lawlessness and criminality must not be swept under the carpet. CAN, 19 Northern states, is calling on every Christian parent across the nation especially, Northern states, to discourage sending their children to any school in Sokoto State, pending when the federal and state governments are ready and willing to secure the lives of our children both in Sokoto and other states that are hostile to Christians and Christianity.
“We are urging all Christian leaders to terminate their participation in Nigerian Inter-Religious Council (NIREC) until their counterparts of Islamic faith show commitment to tame their followers on equal terms. Northern CAN prays for the immediate family and indeed the Church of late Deborah Samuel not to lose hope in God’s ability to avenge the killers of their daughter.
“We appeal and counsel those who feel and think that killing and oppressing Christians is a demonstration of their service to their God to learn from history. Those that tried it in Egypt and their experiences should be enough warning. There is the Red Sea awaiting them, even those who are secretly encouraging them, must partake in the Red Sea experience.”