DEBORAH: Man who renounced ABU studentship to protest killing reacts to ensued backlash

When news of the gruesome murder of Deborah Samuel, a female student of Shehu Shagari College of Education, Sokoto State, broke out, Nigerians irrespectively of tribes, religion, social and economic status condemned it in its entirety.

WITHIN NIGERIA recalls that Deborah, 200 level student of economics was burnt to death by her colleagues for allegedly insulting Prophet Muhammad (SAW).

While other Nigerians stopped at condemning the act on Social media and government official releasing press releases, a postgraduate student of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Kaduna State, Oyeniyi Oyewole Iwakun, put action to his words by renouncing his studentship of the university to protest the murder of Deborah over alleged blasphemy.

In a letter addressed to the Vice Chancellor of ABU, dated May 13, 2022, Iwakun disclosed that he no longer feels safe being a student of the university and he’s withdrawing to protest Deborah’s murder.

The political science postgraduate student, who described the letter as his contribution to the demand for justice for late Deborah added that he would have done same if the victim was a Muslim, Traditionalist, Pagan, and Atheist irrespective of their religious, ethnic and tribal inclination.

During an interview with The PUNCH, Iwakun said he receives death threats daily for renouncing his ABU studentship and how it has affected him.

Soon after the PUNCH interview, Iwakun was criticized by an alumna of ABU Zaria identified as Abdullahi O. Haruna Haruspice, in an article published on Leadership Newspaper titled “Oyeniyi Iwakun; The Liar in The Punch Newspaper” and also on his Facebook wall.

Abdullahi said Iwakun should be avoided at all costs, describing him as a trigger to the ethnic fault lines in the country, who brew discord just to sustain ethnic distrust.

“He is as toxic and barbaric as the mob that lynched Deborah in Sokoto State, bloodthirsty as the mob in Lekki, Lagos and like the deadly unknown gunmen that decapitated the lawmaker and rip open the belly of a pregnant woman and killed her four children on the street of Anambra,” he added.

Responding to Abdulahi’s backlash, Iwakun in an article titled “Abdullahi O Haruna Haruspice: A Sponsored Bigot And Extremist On A Diversionary Mission”, said the publication aimed at scheming some damage control by those who his studentship renouncement decision hits so hard.

Iwakun explained that he was never angry at ABU Zaria but the mob who murdered Deborah and sees Abdulahhi’s publication as a deliberate attempt to twist situations and opinion to suit his parochial belief.

“Rather than seeing the significance of my action which is to condemn in totality the incessant mob action, religious cum tribal intolerance, orchestrated insecurity, victimization and uncurtailed religious killings as it is in the case of Deborah Samuel, Abdullahi decided to openly show solidarity to his fellow extremists via the subscription, endorsement and approval of it.”

According to him, the time Abdullahi used in writing the backlash “could have been more profitably maximized in condemning the killing of Deborah or devoted at sensitizing the bloodthirsty killers in his environment so that this madness can stop in our country.”

He concluded by saying, he’s a “consistent human rights crusader and my humanitarian disposition can never be compromised,” and the damage control by Abdullahi is a failed mission.

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