Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN) has cautioned politicians against unnecessarily heating up the polity through unguarded utterances and claims.
Chairman of PFN, Enugu State chapter, Bishop Godwin Madu, gave the caution in a statement issued in Enugu on Thursday.
Madu stressed the need for politicians to respect the zoning arrangement, both at national and state levels, so as to engender peace and stability.
He called on those aspiring for political offices and their political parties to play by the rules to further ensure Nigeria’s unity.
“The country is already passing through numerous challenges, including insecurity.
“PFN is urging all Nigerians to intensify prayers, as the nation inches closer to the 2023 general elections,” he said.
Madu urged Christians to get their permanent voter cards to be able to vote candidates of their choice during the forthcoming general elections.
Deborah: 34 lawyers appear for two suspects in Sokoto
AUTHORITIES of the Sokoto State Police command, on Monday arraigned two suspects, Bilyaminu Aliyu and Aminu Hukunci over the lynching of a 200-Level Home Economics student of Shehu Shagari College of Education, Sokoto, Deborah Samuel, on May 12 for alleged blasphemy.
The suspects, co-students of the deceased, were docked at a Sokoto Chief Magistrate’s Court for their alleged participation in the crime.
They pleaded not guilty to the crime. Police prosecutor, Inspector Khalil Musa told the court that investigation was in progress.
Leading a team of 34 lawyers, the defence counsel, Prof. Mansur Ibrahim, applied for their bail on liberal terms, citing constitutional provisions and sections of the administration of criminal justice law.
The trial judge (name withheld for security reasons) reserved ruling on the bail application and ordered the accused to be remanded at a correctional centre.
Before she was lynched, Deborah was accused of denigrating Islam on a WhatsApp chat platform set up by her course mates and refused to retract her post after she was asked to pull it down.
A violent street protest followed the arrest of suspects linked to the lynching of Deborah as the protesters demanded their immediate release by security operatives.
However, Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State consequently imposed a 24-hour curfew on Sokoto metropolis on Saturday.
But, on Monday, his administration relaxed the 24 hour curfew imposed in the metropolis following a violent protest in the state capital over the arrest of some youths linked to the murder of Deborah.
This was contained in a statement issued by the Commissioner for Information and Orientation , Isah Bajini and made available to the Nigerian Tribune on Monday.
The statement noted that ‘sequel to the briefing by the security heads in the state, Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal has ordered the relaxation of the 24 hour curfew in force in Sokoto metropolis.
According to the statement, “the revised curfew will now be from dusk to dawn in Sokoto township. This is with a view to afford people the window to pursue their legitimate businesses and other means of livelihood. The government, however, advised people to maintain peace in this regard, as it will not condone any breach of law and order in the state.”
Sokoto killing: Charges against alleged killers watery —Adegboruwa
A Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, on Monday knocked authorities in Sokoto State for preferring alleged undercard charges against those accused of killing Deborah Samuel.
The senior lawyer pointedly accused the state government of going for charges with far less implications, noting that it is the governor, Aminu Tambuwal that is now on trial.
The state government preferred charges of criminal conspiracy and inciting public disturbances against the accused despite the material facts of the matter, pointing at alleged murder.
Adegboruwa advised Tambuwal to resign in the statement he titled ‘The conspiracy in Sokoto’, instead of making a mess of the law of the land.
He said, “There is need for genuine reconciliation in this matter. The criminal charge of criminal conspiracy and inciting public disturbance as framed by the Sokoto State government against hardened murderers is an insult to the sensibilities of the parents of the deceased, the people of Nigeria and God who created Deborah.
“This crime took place in an enlightened environment in a higher institution, under the watch of security men, who were said to have been overpowered. It all started from a WhatsApp group, which has identified leaders. There are students who sent messages and threats of death on that platform. Their phone numbers are registered with NIN identification. They belong to a class in the school so they are known individuals.
“Images of persons who openly and boastfully confessed of partaking in the murder abound, with one displaying the match stick with which the deceased was set ablaze. The government of Sokoto State has by these charges shown itself complicit in this whole drama and it is most unfortunate, for a state that is headed by a lawyer, a former Speaker of the House of Representatives and who is aspiring to rule Nigeria as its president.
“It is most uncharitable of the governor to have condoned this baseless charge. It is better to set the suspects free rather than claim to try them. The aftermath of this gruesome murder, the watery charges filed and the consenting attitude of those concerned have depressed me more than the act itself,” Adegboruwa stated.
He conveyed his worries about the future of the country while expressing outrage over the alleged complicity of the state, saying “Nigeria cannot work this way at all. I’m truly saddened by this development. I expected the governor as a visitor to that school to have visited the parents of the deceased, who trusted the authorities and sent their ward to school from Niger to Sokoto State, in furtherance of the mantra of a united Nigeria.
“If the impression we get with all these charges is that the state itself endorsed the murder of the deceased, then we are sowing the seeds of discord and fragmentation,” Adegboruwa noted.
“The political ambition of Governor Aminu Tambuwal should not override the life of a citizen entrusted to his care but who was murdered in cold blood. It is better for His Excellency to resign now, rather than go down in history as the governor under whose watch a citizen was murdered and the governor could not enforce the laws of the land but rather aided and abetted its cover up.
“It is Governor Tambuwal who is actually on trial in this case,” he added.