Catholic Diocese of Nigeria has suspended or cancelled today Sunday Church Service and other masses in Sokoto state until the curfew declared by the state government over the violent approach of supporters of students who stoned and burnt to death a female student of Shehu Shagari College of Education, Deborah Samuel over alleged blasphemous statement against Prophet Mohammed SAW on Thursday.
The supporters of the killer students embarked on violent protest on Saturday morning till evening to demand the release of the two suspects arrested by the police in connection with the killing.
The Catholic Diocese of Sokoto in a press release signed by Reverend Father Christopber A. Omotosbo, the Director, Directorate of Social Communication, said no one was killed on Saturday during the violent protest of the killer students supporters but church buildings were destroyed and one of them partly burnt.
The Catholic church statement reads:
The Sokoto State Government has declared 24-hour curfew to help stem the ongoing protests embarked upon by Muslim youth in the state capital today.
During the protest, groups of youths led by some adults in the background attacked the Holy Family Catholie Cathedral at Bello Way, destroying church glass windows, those of the Bishop Lawton Secretariat and vandalized community bus parked within the premises.
St. Kevin’s Catholic Church, Gidan Dere, Eastern By-pass, was also attacked and partly burnt; windows of the new hospital complex under construction, in the same premises were shattered.
They were promptly dispersed by a team of Mobile Policemen before they could do further damage.
The hoodlums also attacked the Bakhita Centre located along Aliyu Jodi Road and burnt down a bus within the premises.
In a reaction, the Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Most Reverend Matthew Hassan Kukah commended the Governor of Sokoto State, H. E. Alhaji Aminu Tambuwal for acting promptly by declaring the 24-hour curfew to stem the protests.
He also commended the security forces for promptly rising to the occasion to prevent further damage at our facilities.
In all, no life was lost.
Contrary to information in circulation, we wish to disclaim that there was an attack of any sort on the residence of Bishop Matthew Hassan Kukah.
The Bishop appeals to Christians to remain law abiding and pray for the return of normalcy.
AlI Masses in Sokoto metropolis have been suspended until the curfew is lifted.