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Deborah: I’m disappointed that people still kill in name of God, says Archbishop of Canterbury

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby has joined the growing number of individuals and groups that have condemned last Thursday’s brutal murder of Miss Deborah Yakubu, a young Christian 200-level student of Shehu Shagari College of Education, Sokoto by some of her school mates over alleged blasphemy, saying he was disappointed and grieved that such violence still takes place in the name of God.

He described the act as a sin against God. Welby, who is the Senior Bishop and Principal Leader of the Church of England and the head of the Anglican Communion worldwide, condemned the violent murder of the late Deborah in a series of tweets late Wednesday.

He, therefore, called on the Nigerian government to ensure that religious rights are protected.

Welby stated, “I strongly condemn the appalling stoning to death of a Christian woman in Sokoto, Nigeria. This violence is a sin against God. I pray for the family and loved ones of Deborah Samuel, and I continue to pray fervently for the nation of Nigeria.

“I have spent much time in northern Nigeria working with others in pursuit of reconciliation and interfaith dialogue. I am profoundly disappointed and grieved that such violence still takes place in God’s name.

“I’m grateful for those Nigerian Muslim leaders that have condemned this atrocity. I call for renewed efforts by the Nigerian Government to ensure liberty and equality under the law – whether for Christians or Muslims – which was so tragically absent in this case. I urged people to pray for interfaith dialogue, reconciliation and peace in Nigeria.”

A legal team of 34 lawyers, led by a law lecturer at the Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto, Professor Mansur Ibrahim, had on Monday appeared in defence of two suspects, Bilyaminu Aliyu and Aminu Hukunci, arraigned over the murder of Deborah.

Groups and individuals have continued to react to Deborah’s killing and have urged the Sokoto State government to ensure that justice was done.

The leadership of the umbrella body for lawyers in the country, the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) recently called on the Government of Sokoto State to demonstrate seriousness and willingness in its prosecution of alleged culprits in the murder of a young Christian student in the state by ensuring that charges preferred against the defendants were true reflection of the gravity of the offense of murder.

Also, the African Bar Association (AFBA), in a statement signed by its President, Hannibal Uwaifo, had stated that it was completely taken aback by the fanatical support given to the callous action by top religious leaders, highly placed government officials and even lawyers.

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