Remains of Deborah Samuel, the 200 level Student of Shehu Shagari College of Education, killed by her muslim schoolmates in Sokoto, northwest Nigeria, over alleged blasphemy, have been laid to rest.
She was buried Saturday, around 6:30 pm at the Christian cemetery, in her hometown, Tunga Magajiya, in Rijau Local Government Area of Niger State, northcentral Nigeria.
Reports say, youths in the town had protested that her burial ought to have been carried out by the Sokoto State government, but her family insisted that they would carry out the burial themselves.
It was said that her uncle, Emmanuel Maaji who is the pastor of ECWA church in the village, led the prayers at the cemetery before she was lowered to mother earth.
The deceased, it was gathered, had been living with family members in Sokoto since she was in primary school before her death.
AFRICA PRIME NEWS learnt that while the body of Deborah was being transported home for burial, an official of the Sokoto State Government allegedly called that the body be returned, as it belongs to the government.
The state government had asked the family to deposit the deceased in the mortuary, until burial arrangements are concluded.
However, the parents disagreed with the government’s position, while insisting that their daughter’s body would be buried Saturday.
It was learnt that since the news of the incident reached Deborah’s parents, the mother had been unconscious, while the father in a state of grief and pain.
The Church Angle
Reacting, the Pastor of the family in charge of 1st ECWA in Tunga Magajiya, Pastor Emmanuel Maaji explained that the family were insisting that their daughter be buried Saturday as against the state government’s position to wait until it completes its own arrangement.
According to him, the parents were not happy with the way and manner the government was handling the issue.
The cleric said the body of the deceased was transported back home in a chartered bus and not a government vehicle.
Pastor Maaji further stated that the state government only called and said that it was not right for the family to take the body without informing them.
The Government said that they shouldn’t bury the body as the body is for the government and not for the family. They asked them to put the body in the mortuary.
When asked the name of the government official that asked that the body be returned to Sokoto State, the Pastor stated that he cannot recollect the name, but that the person claimed to be a representative of the state government.
Confirming the development, the CAN Coordinator of the Rijau Local Government Area, Reverend Danjuma Doma explained that the family and church were preparing to bury the remains of Late Deborah, adding, “we will update you on the situation as it goes, but we are all here to support the family at this moment of grief.”
Earlier, there was a disagreement over the burial site prepared for her at the town’s cemetery, when some group of youths appeared and claimed that she cannot be laid to rest in it, saying that it was dug for another deceased person in the area.
Also, confirming the development, Pastor Maaji said as a result of the action of the youth, the family and church decided to suspend the burial and deposit the deceased in the morgue to avoid further argument.
”But, when we prevailed on the youth, they saw reason with us and allowed us to bury her in the grave under contention.
This is because, the body is burnt and not good to the eyes,” the cleric said.