The killing of Deborah Samuel a student of Shehu Shagari College of Education by some mob over alleged blasphemy is highly condemnable. The video of the killing that surfaces on social media depict the horrible state of the underdevelopment of the country by the self-centred capitalist politicians over the years.

The Movement for A Socialist Alternative (MSA) condemned this jungle justice method of killing Deborah and others, who had met death at the hands of blasphemy; courtesy of the barbaric state of the institution hanging on religious teachings. The MSA is in solidarity with the grieving families and we demand justice. We equally demand that those who have perpetrated this gruesome act must be made to realise the outrageous of this killing.

However, we will blame the state that has always looked the other way when this killing took place and several unreported by the media. We say this because religion in this part of the world is used as an instrument by the State to divide and rule the working masses. The ruling elite is using it also to create collision and divert the mass’s attention from the real issue of what to eat, drink, and how to survive. This is despite their failures to resolve the social contradiction of hunger and poverty amidst the abundance of resources they are looting.

The killings by jungle justice as a result of alleged blasphemy is one among many. We call on the government to immediately address this issue by ensuring perpetrators face the law. In Sokoto’s state where the incident happens, the government has not publicly condemned the act. Charges of conspiracy and inciting public disturbance, which was levelled at the two suspects arrested by the government. However, several clips are pointing at the alleged murder as a slap to ensure justice is done.

To show the “I don’t care” attitude of the governor, Aminu Tambuwa, the governor has since left the state on a campaign tour to other states for his Presidential ambition. One would wonder if a governor that cannot address this issue is having an ambition for the presidency. It is an obvious fact that these ruling elite don’t care about the crisis their policies have created.

The contradictions between the Nigerian state and the ruling elites are manifesting in the death sentence of Mubarak Bala, the president of the Nigerian Humanist Association. Mubarak was sentenced to 24 years in prison by a Kano State High Court for conviction on ‘blasphemy.” The alleged blasphemy is about his Facebook postings expressing his atheistic views. Many other similar incidents have taken place in other parts of the North and the government does not deem to tackle them.

This act is happening at a time universities across the country are closed due to government failure to fund public education adequately. Despite UNESCO’s recommendation for a 25% budgetary allocation to education for developing economies like Nigeria. Perhaps the best this regime could allocate is a mere 7.9% in the 2022 budget. 

The economy under this regime has been a disaster with the unemployment rate at 33.3% and inflation at 16.82% as of April 2022. The prices of goods in the market have gone above the reach of the working-class masses. The current minimum wage cannot sustain any family with the increasing level of inflation in the country. This is the only time to fight for a better society by calling on the Trade unions to act and save this economy from total collapse into barbarism.   

Therefore, the MSA need to state that youth from a working-class home must realise the problem is not a religion but the failure of the capitalist system. They must channel their anger to the increase in poverty, lack of proper funding for public education and provision of infrastructure development. Fundamentally, when the need of the economy is addressed, the question of poverty and illiteracy will either away.

However, achieving this as a minimal programme will require organising the action of workers and youth to challenge the mismanagement of the Northern state public fund. We also want to say the NLC and TUC must lay their voices on this trending matter. They must come out to empathise with the deceased family and condemn this act, courtesy; the poor underdevelopment of the economy under corrupt capitalist politicians looting the country to the ground.

Aj. Dagga Tolar
General Secretary,
Movement for A Socialist Alternative, MSA-Nigeria.