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Deborah: NBA-SPIDEL conference postponed over unrest in Sokoto

Deborah: NBA-SPIDEL conference postponed over unrest in Sokoto
May 17
17:19 2022

The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) has postponed its conference for Section of Public Interest and Development Law (SPIDEL) which was scheduled to hold in Sokoto state.

In a statement on Tuesday, Olumide Akpata, NBA president, said the 2022 conference was cancelled over concerns about the security situation in Sokoto, following the murder of Deborah Emmanuel, a female student of Shehu Shagari College of Education.

Some youths, on Saturday, took to the streets in Sokoto metropolis to protest against the arrest of the suspects linked to the murder of Deborah, who was accused of blasphemy.

She was beaten and stoned before she was set ablaze by a mob on May 12.

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Her killing sparked outrage and condemnation across the country, with Nigerians asking the government to fish out the perpetrators of the crime.

Akpata, who condemned the killing of Deborah, said the safety of participants at the conference cannot be guaranteed.

“The NBA is deeply worried not just by the chilling news of the murder of Miss Deborah Yakubu, but also by the sudden and sad turn of events and the deteriorating security situation in Sokoto state,” he said.

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“As such, having critically reviewed the current security condition in Sokoto, it has become apparent that we cannot guarantee the safety of our guest speakers, delegates and other stakeholders that have committed to attend the NBA-SPIDEL’s conference which was designed to put the State in the global spotlight for the duration of the conference and beyond.

“Accordingly, the executive committee of NBA-SPIDEL came to the painful decision to request, and I have approved, that the 2022 NBA-SPIDEL annual conference be postponed not only for the safety of our conferees and guests but as a mark of respect for the memory of the slain Miss Deborah Yakubu.

“The NBA acknowledges the efforts put in by the Sokoto state government towards the conference which is now beset by the prevailing security situation.

“While we recognise that the Sokoto state government has imposed a curfew to stem the unrest, the NBA urges the state government to fully collaborate with the federal government to initiate measures — and where necessary deploy its coercive instruments — to restore peace and order to the state, safeguard lives and property and dissuade vandalism and impunity.

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“Lastly, we thank our delegates and our guest speakers who have made sundry expenses and commitments towards participating in the Conference. We apologise for any inconvenience that this postponement is sure to occasion. The NBA will continue to monitor the situation and will provide further information on the next steps when normalcy returns.”

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