The murder Deborah Samuel has thinly cracked Nigeria poles apart again. And APC’s 25 presidential aspirants, and five others in the PDP have found themselves taking bad position.
Nigerians are reading their lips to confirm where the aspirants stand. The voters, though, know. It’s the north—which controls the political fate of the aspirants in 2023. Same region where Muslim colleagues stoned the Christian student to death, and burned her corpse for blasphemy.
But the presidential wannabes have bitten their tongues. They would be caught dead yapping on this.
It took about 48 hours for President Muhammadu Buhari to condemn the killing.
“President Buhari said the news of the killing of the young lady by fellow students was a matter of concern and demanded an impartial, extensive probe into all that happened before and during the incident,” his media aide Shehu Garba said in sateen on Friday.
Hours later, V.P. Yemi Osinbajo also went about it his own way: a commendation of Buhari’s response first, and then a riff on most of the things the president earlier said.
“As the president said, there’s really no excuse for anyone to take the law into their own hands no matter the provocation, there are set processes for ensuring that we are able to redress whatever wrongs that are done against us,” the VP said.
If push comes to shove, Osinbajo can only be pinned down to the condolences he offered in his own voice, with its broken-heart-never-mends add-on.
“I think it’s very sad indeed, and we extend our sincere condolences to them; we ask that the Almighty will comfort them at this time,” he said.
APC’s national leader and one of the leading aspirants has yet to speak. His rival and NGF chairman Gov. Kayode Fayemi hasn’t either.
PDP veteran presidential contender and former V.P. Atiku Abubakar lashed out earlier than even Buhari.
“There cannot be a justification for such gruesome mother,” he said on Thursday on his Twitter and Facebook accounts. “Deborah Yakubu was murdered, and all those behind her death must be brought to justice.”
His position, however, got shaky Friday morning.
Following threats—to withdraw support for him in 2023—from northern Muslims among his followers on social media, Atiku deleted the posts.
He claimed, in Hausa, the condemnation (post) “doesn’t agree with my orders”.
“I use this to announce that any post without AA is not from me. May God protect—AA,” he said in another post.
Atiku has yet to issue another one since then.
Among his PDP rivals—former Sen. President Bukola Saraki, Bauchi Gov. Bala Mohammed, Akwa Ibom Gov. Emmanuel Udom, Sokoto Gov. Aminu Tambuwal, and Rivers Gov. Nyesom Wike—only one has spoken.
And the speech was just what it was: gum-beating.
“Already, the state government has directed the ministry of higher education and relevant security agencies to commence investigation and into the remote and immediate causes of the incident, and report back to the government,” a statement by the state government said Thursday.
Tambuwal’s say-nothing-statement was a matter of necessity, though.
His government cannot bungle a crisis at the state level, and hope to sell him for Aso Rock in 2023.
Many Nigerians believe the deaf ears these aspirants turn to the killing, to save their ambition, reveals they care little for the citizens.
Social media critic Femi Fani Kayode described Atiku’s mealy-mouthed statement as “murdering Deborah all over again”.