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Student killed by mob in Nigeria school on blasphemy charges

The girl, Deborah Yakubu, was surrounded by classmates and assaulted on Thursday, according to a police statement.

The incident happened at Shehu Shagari School in Sokoto, North West Nigeria, and the school was immediately closed.

“The students forcibly removed the victim from the security room where she was being hidden by the school authorities, killed her and set fire to the building,” police spokesman Sanusi Abubakar said. , in a press release broadcast to CNN.

Sokoto State Governor Aminu Tambuwal ordered the school closed and ordered the Ministry of Higher Education and security agencies to investigate the incident.

The video, which circulated on social media following the murder, appears to show his attackers holding a matchbox and celebrating after setting it on fire.

CNN was unable to independently verify the video.

Two people were arrested and “The suspects in the viral Twitter video have been spotted and will be nailed soon,” Abubakar added.

Religious tensions

Nigerians expressed their outrage on Twitter and denounced the killing. Jit is feared that this could increase sectarian tensions in the country, which is largely divided along religious lines, with the north being predominantly Muslim and predominantly Christian.

“The murderers of a Christian in Sokoto must be arrested and punished!” tweeted Farooq Kperogiprofessor at Kennesaw State University.

“Sadly, this kind of inconsequential killing in the name of vengeful ‘blasphemy’ has gone on far too long in the North. It must stop!” he said. “The monsters in this video are easily identifiable. The Sokoto state government must immediately apprehend them and make an example of them. If this does not happen, this kind of murderous barbarism will continue.”

Community leaders called for calm and urged authorities to punish the attackers.

Reverend Matthew Kukah of Sokoto Diocese said in a statement, “It has nothing to do with religion. Christians have lived in peace with their Muslim neighbors here in Sokoto over the years…The law must follow. his courses.”

Kola Alapinni, a lawyer who has defended people accused of blasphemy in Nigerian courts, said he was working on the appeal of another man on death row for blasphemy when he heard about Yakubu’s murder.

He told CNN that blasphemy does not exist under Nigeria’s constitutional laws, although some northern Muslim states recognize it under Sharia.

“The state government is hiding under a section of its Sharia laws that punishes inciting or insulting statements towards the Prophet Muhammad. This needs to be tested in the Court of Appeal or even in the Supreme Court.”

“The primary job of the state is the safety of life and property. And here it has failed. The seriousness of the Nigerian government in ending this threat will be measured by the state’s response to prosecuting those responsible for this murder,” Alapinni added.

campaign season

The incident comes as campaigning for next year’s presidential election begins – with primaries due later this month.

Atiku Abubakar, the opposition party’s presidential candidate, has been criticized for deleting social media posts condemning the killing after Muslim supporters vowed not to vote for him.

CNN contacted his spokesperson for comments.

Student killed by mob in Nigeria school on blasphemy charges

There have been previous incidents of mobs attacking people for alleged blasphemy in Nigeria. One of the most notable cases It was during the Miss World 2002 pageant, which was to be held in Nigeria but was moved after violent protests in which 100 people died.

Riots broke out after the ThisDay newspaper published an article about the contest which was deemed insulting to Muslims. The article backed the show against Muslim critics, saying that if the Prophet Muhammad were alive, he would consider marrying one of the contestants.

The newspaper’s offices in Kaduna were set on fire and churches and mosques were torched.

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