Emmanuel Garba, the father of Deborah Yakubu, a student of the Shehu Shagari College of Education, Sokoto State, who was killed by a mob over alleged blasphemy, shares his grief in this interview.
Who is Emmanuel Garba?
My name is Emmanuel Garba. I am from Tungan Magajiya in the Rijau Local Government Area of Niger State.
What do you do for a living?
I am a guard with the Niger State Water and Sanitation (an agency of the government).
What is your relationship with the deceased?
The deceased is my daughter.
How many children do you have?
I have seven children.
Was Deborah your first child?
No, she was my second child.
Can you explain how you got to know about her death?
I got a call from my elder brother, who is in Sokoto, asking me to come over, that something bad had happened. He didn’t want to break the sad news to me on the phone. So, when I got there, he told me what happened.
How exactly did you feel when you heard that she was murdered?
I was extremely sad and confused, and didn’t know what to do or say for a long time.
How did her mother and siblings react to the news of the incident?
They were heartbroken and one of my children and the mother became sick as a result of the news of her death and how she was killed. They have still not recovered and I doubt if they will ever forget this thing that befell us, but we pray that the Almighty God makes things easy for us all.
What kind of person was Deborah?
My daughter was a God-fearing Christian, who was caring and obedient to us as her parents and her siblings.
You initially said the Sokoto State Government did not contact you over her death. Has anyone from the government done that now?
No government official has called any of us and we have not been visited by any delegation.
It was reported that you handed the case over to God. Are you standing by that or do you plan to take any legal action?
We maintain that we are not seeking redress in any court over the killing of our daughter. We are firm believers in Christ, who always leave everything in the hands of God. No vengeance, nothing. Everything is left to our creator.