OPINION: Deborah’s blasphemy and taking the law into the hands


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By Bilyamin Abdulmumin


Since last week, the country has been sitting on the edge of peaceful coexistence thanks to the blasphemous remark made by Deborah Samuel, a 200L student of Shehu Shagari College of Education (COE) Sokoto. In an audio clip that went viral -which cause her life, the deceased claimed that their class’s chat group was meant for updates on class activities only, instead of her to stop there, she went on to activate the provocation button by declaring the prophetic sayings being shared in the group as “stupid things”, she then threw the decency to dogs and thundered the unprintable. One could hear the reaction of caution at the background from her friends to indicate the gravity they foresaw from her submission.

The incident that follows of killing Deborah by some youths has divided the Muslim opinions, two popular among them are those who unconditionally support her killing and those who are against the killing, that is, taking the law into the hands.

Those who support the killing have given the lack of faith in the government as the reason for their support to the youth who have taken the law into their own hands. There have been many instances where blasphemy occurs from either Muslims or Christian but Government would only play a long game with people’s intelligence until the matter die out without bringing the perpetrators to book, so this category of viewers is becoming unfaithful leaving the case to the government hence could not get the culprits to pay for their actions which would help serve as a deterrent for future repetitions.

When some, in defense of Deborah, declared that she might not be in her senses when she made the statement, this category of viewers, in a widely circulated response, said those who have taken the law into their hands too are not in their senses, because by insulting the person of the Prophet SAW, the ground for making any sense of reasoning has been lost.

The second category that condemns the killing, points to the negative consequences of taking the law into hands. This category of viewers has reasons to back their claim too. Some of the negative repercussions of taking the law into hands could be passing a law on an innocent person. There have been cases where blasphemy is alleged but upon proper investigation, it would be found to be baseless, a misconception, or mere vendetta. Taking the law into hands may also trigger the victim’s side for reprisal attacks which in turn may lead to chaos and anarchy in the nation. Still, taking the law into hands can lead to extremism, the incident may take a new dimension, it can escalate into different things giving a chance for the men of state to utilize the opportunity to go on a rampage looting innocents, what happened in Sokoto after the Deborah killing was a tip of ice for what could happen.

The best conclusion that could be drawn from the above two popular opinions is that Deborah’s blasphemous remark is insensitive, provocative, and mischief, while her killers transcend the border by taking the law into hands.


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