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Growing Blasphemy Killings In Nigeria

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According to Wikipedia, “Blasphemy is the act of insulting or showing contempt or lack of reverence to a deity, to religious or holy persons or sacred things or towards something considered sacred or inviolable.

Some religions consider blasphemy as a religious crime.” In May 30, 2016, one person was killed in Niger State over allegation of blasphemy, while several others sustained injury even as two
churches were burnt after a Facebook exchange resulted in a Muslim accusation of blasphemy.

The deceased was 24-year-old Methodus Chimaije Emmanuel, a trader in Pandogari, Rafi local government area who was attacked and killed by mob in the town on the allegation of posting a blasphemous statement about Prophet Mohammed on the social media.

“Three other persons including a personal of NSCDC (Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps) also lost their lives”, according to Army spokesman, N. C. Agwu. Similarly in June 2, this year, Muslim mob in Kano killed a pastor’s wife for blaspheming Islam and Prophet Mohammed. According to report, Bridget Aghahime, a kitchen utensil vendor in Kano City’s Kofar Wambai
Market, asked a Muslim engaged in ritual Islamic cleansing identified as Alhaji Dauda, to move his ritual from her shop front.  She has had similar conflicts with the suspect. Aghahime and her husband, Pastor Mike Aghahime of Deeper Life Bible Church in Kano were later meeting with the landlord about the persistent problem when Dauda and other Muslims return and began chanting that she must die for blasphemy.

According to report the assailants overpowered the few police present and clubbered her to death. The mob killed her before the arrival of the reinforcement that saved the pastor from being killed as well.

Also in August 21, eight persons were killed in Zamfara State over allegation of blasphemy against Islam. According to report the eight persons were killed in Talata-Marafa community after violence erupted over allegation of blasphemy against Islam by a student of Abdu Gusau
Polytechnic Talata-Marafa. The deceased were killed when an angry mob set fire on the house of a man who tried to rescue the student.

The student was alleged to have made a blasphemous statement against Islam and Prophet Mohammed and was subsequently attacked by a mob. This year may have witnessed the highest number of Nigerians that had been killed extra-judiciously for alleged blasphemy in recent times.
This is indeed highly condemnable.

The reason why this is so, is apparently the failure of the security agents to bring the perpetrators of similar acts to book. In most cases this kind of killings end on the pages of newspapers. The revulsion of the political and religious leaders and indeed the general public last
momentarily until another more dastardly acts take over the headlines and they are forgotten.

We want to reiterate that Nigeria is a secular state and not an Islamic state. Even in Islamic state there are rules which guide religious conduct and only constituted authority can confirm an act of
blasphemy and not the mob. It is necessary for religious leaders, particularly in Northern Nigeria to teach their followers that Nigeria is a secular state that accommodates divergent religious views.

We also urge the federal government to ensure that those who kill under the guise of religion are punished according to extant laws, to serve as deterrent to others.

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7 thoughts on “Growing Blasphemy Killings In Nigeria

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