On May 20, 2022, Rhoda Jatau, a devoted mother of five was arrested in Bauchi for sending a message perceived as blasphemous via WhatsApp. This was in response to the tragic murder of Deborah Yakubu who fell victim to criminal mob arab religion adherent killers
Rhoda Jatau has now spent over a year behind bars after openly condemning the gruesome murder of Deborah Yakubu last year. The Nigerian authorities’ decision to imprison Jatau has ignited debates surrounding freedom of speech in the nation.
Deborah Yakubu’s tragic murder sent shockwaves through the country in 2022. Jatau, known for her outspoken views, expressed vehement condemnation of the heinous crime. However, instead of being lauded for her courage, she found herself on the wrong side of the law.
Jatau’s prolonged detention raises questions about the state of freedom of expression in Nigeria. Advocacy groups and human rights organizations have been vocal in their criticism, urging the government to reconsider her imprisonment.
Concerns have been raised that stifling dissent and punishing individuals for expressing their opinions could have a chilling effect on free speech.
The incident has brought attention to the broader issue of human rights in Nigeria and the need for a robust legal framework that protects citizens’ right to express their opinions without fear of reprisal.
“All I want is for Rhoda to be alive and free” her husband says.
With two parallel laws running counter to each other, south and north of Nigeria, observers are wondering if the shocking adoption of the arab ideology, the sharia law, in 1999 by the north, was not a cunning move of secession by same north, without having to loose the freebies from the south?