From Oluseye Ojo, Ibadan
The six governors in the South West geo-political zone have been told to prevail on the management of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) not to post graduates of Nigerian tertiary institutions of Yoruba origin to fanatic-prone Muslim North for there national youth service.
This was contained in a letter written by Majeobaje Movement, an initiative for good governance and sustainable development in Yorubaland, sent to the Chairman, South West Governors’ Forum and Ondo State governor, Arakunrin Rotimi Akeredolu.
Copies of the letter were also sent to Governors Seyi Makinde (Oyo), Gboyega Oyetola (Osun), Kayode Fayemi (Ekiti), Dapo Abiodun (Ogun) and Babajide Sanwo-Olu (Lagos). The document was signed by Chief Akintayo Akin-Deko, Rev’d Muyiwa Bamgbose, Hakeem Kolapo Fujah, Sir Gbenga Adebusuyi, Dr. Sina Fagbenro-Byron, Mr. Yomi Layinka, Dr. Adedapo Sikuade, Abiodun Yahya Asesanya, and Ayo Ojerinde.
The letter, entitled: Lynching of Deborah Samuel – Appeal to keep South West Youth Corps Members out of Fanatic-prone Muslim North, read in part: “We salute your wisdom and courage in steering the ships of your respective Southwest states during these disturbing times. We again write to urgently bring your attention to the alarming situation in parts of Northern Nigeria that are already prone to banditry and Islamic terrorist attacks.
“They now have the additional challenge of a resurgence of religious lynching by Muslim fanatics, as was recently demonstrated right inside the Shehu Shagari College of Education, Sokoto with the heinous killing of Deborah Samuel, a Christian lady, on allegations of blasphemy.
“In our opinion, all educated Nigerians but especially non-Muslims are not safe under such circumstances, as Deborah was alleged to have been seized and stoned to death by Muslim fanatics right in the presence of state and federal security officers.
“Meanwhile, although the Sultan, His Eminence, Alhaji Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar III, decried the lynching, we are still to hear him use his position as leader of Nigerian Muslims to decree against any more of such unlawful acts. In addition, the Sokoto State government is reported to have filed weak charges against some of the arrested perpetrators.You are aware that youths raised in our SW states are educated at great sacrifice to their families to live by our Omoluabi ethos, which includes religious tolerance, paramountcy of secular law and ethnic conviviality.
“Under the current circumstances, it is clear that graduates originating from SW states, who are compulsorily deployed to Sokoto or states with similar characteristics for their National Youth Service, will not receive adequate government protection in those states. This is even though such protection is their inalienable right under the Nigerian Constitution as regards security and religious freedom
“We therefore call on the governors of all Southwest states to prevail on the authorities of the National Youth Service Corp scheme to ensure that SW youths, who are to serve in northern states are deployed only to those areas where federal and state governments can guarantee their safety from Sharia by-laws, Muslim fanatics, and Islamic terrorists.”