former Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr. Babachir David Lawal, has denied that a voice note making the rounds in the social media urging Christians to avenge the killing of Deborah Samuel was his.
According to him, the circulation of the voice note, which was credited to him, was a “wicked and cowardly act of trying to sully my name.”
A group of students of Shehu Shagari College of Education, Sokoto, killed Ms. Samuel after she blasphemed Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.).
In the voice note released in the social media on Monday, a male voice was heard in the Hausa language insulting the Muslims in northern Nigeria and asking Christians to revenge the lady’s death.
A note accompanying the voice note alleged that it was Lawal making the unprintable comments.
In his reaction, however, Lawal said even though he was indignant about the killing, it was not in his character to incite anybody to avenge it.
In a press release, the former SGF, an engineer, argued that the voice in the voice note was not his.
He said: “There is a voice note being circulated in the social media purported to have been made by me inciting Christians to retaliate the recurring violence repeatedly unleashed on Christian individuals, their communities, and their properties as epitomized by the recent burning to death of Miss Deborah Samuel and church property in Sokoto.
“While I rightly feel indignant about these killings, it is not in my character to incite people to retaliate.
“Besides, the voice on the voice note is not mine, neither is it in my character to incite revenge.
“The Bible urges believers to leave vengeance to God and I have always urged all victims of religious bigotry and violence to obey this injunction. And I am particularly heartened that the parents of Deborah Samuel have chosen this path.
“For those whose interest is best served by this wicked and cowardly act of trying to sully my name, I wish them well. But certainly, it was not done by me neither did I say such. Certainly, the voice is not mine, the sentiment is not mine and the grammar is not mine.
“I, therefore, urge all my friends and family to ignore this malicious act. It will backfire on the evil men.”
The 67-year-old Lawal, a Christian from Adamawa State, was appointed as SGF on August 27, 2015 by President Muhammadu Buhari. He was, however, suspended on April 19, 2017 and subsequently sacked six months later on October 30, 2017 for misappropriating funds intended for alleviating the food crisis in the North-east, caused largely by Boko Haram.