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Tambuwal’s Presidential Ambition In Doubt, Imposes Curfew As Sokoto Youths Attack, Burn Catholic, ECWA Churches, Loot Shops Over Arrest Of Students Who Lynched, Burned Deborah Samuel

The Presidential ambition of the Sokoto State governor, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, on Saturday was on tenterhooks over the fallout of the lynching and burning of the Christian female student of Shehu Shagari College of Education, Sokoto, Deborah Samuel, over alleged blasphemy.

Following the outbreak of violence when Muslim youths protested over the arrest of the killers of Deborah, Governor Tambuwal on Saturday afternoon declared 24-hours curfew across Sokoto State.

The violence included the burning down of a Catholic church and buildings, the burning of bonfires and tyres and blocking of major roads in the metropolis.

The curfew was announced via the official Facebook handle of the Special Adviser Media and Publicity to the Governor, Muhammad Ahmad Bello.

The protesters had earlier in their numbers stormed the Sultan of Sokoto’s palace, setting up a bonfire near the building and demanding the release of the two suspects.

But armed policemen fired teargas canisters to disperse the angry crowd, during which two persons were reportedly injured. Not satisfied, sources said the protesters invaded some churches along Ahmadu Bello way in the State capital, destroying their properties.

The building of Evangelical Church Winning All (ECWA) in the area was also reportedly set on fire by the irate youths.

“The Catholic church was attacked and scattered while the First ECWA church beside it has been burnt. Some Christians were injured. These youths also attacked some Igbo traders and destroyed their cars.

“Heard they are burning shops and stealing goods currently in city centers as well. Sadly, no intervention from the armed forces,” a Sokoto resident told SaharaReporters.

Sources said that the protests was not just for the release of the arrested masterminds of the lynching and burning of Deborah but also in solidarity as the youths continued to express anger over the alleged abusive remark that led to the killing of female student on 12 May, 2022.

However, Tambuwal, in a statement slammed Sokoto metropolis and others with 24-hour curfew to restore law and order in the state.

“Following the sad incident that happened at the Shehu Shagari College of Education on Thursday and sequel to the developments within (Sokoto) metropolis this morning till afternoon, by the powers conferred on me by sections 176(2) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria; and section 1 and 4 of the Public Order Act; and, also Section 15 of Sokoto State Peace Preservation Law, I hereby declare, with immediate effect, a curfew within (Sokoto) metropolis of Sokoto township for the next 24 hours,” he said.

He appealed to the people of Sokoto State to kindly continue to observe law and order and calm down the restiveness currently pervading in the metropolis.

“Everyone should, please, in the interest of peace go back home and observe this measures, with a view of the reestablishment of peace, law and order in the state.

“It is not in the interest of anyone for us to have a breakdown of law and order. I, therefore, appeal for restraint; and, for people to observe and respect the rule of law,” Tambuwal said.

Sources hinted that the way Tambuwal handled the outcome of the killing and the protests against the arrest of the killers will determine his political future.

“If he is seen as too high handed on the protesters or not on their side, his political future and that of his party in Sokoto State would be in jeopardy. But if he openly sides with the protesters, his national standing outside the Muslim Northern Nigeria would plummet. So, he is not going to come out this without his local and national standing bruised,” said a source.

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