Nigeria: Buhari condemns killing of 8 persons over alleged blasphemy

Abuja, Nigeria (PANA) – Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari, on Tuesday condemned the killing of at least eight persons in Zamfara State, northwestern Nigeria, on allegation of blasphemy.

Describing the killings as “barbaric and unacceptable,” President Buhari, writing on Twitter, said he received news of the mob killings in Zamfara "with great dismay".

He gave the assurance that the law would take its course. "My prayers are with the families of the victims. Under my watch we will work to ensure that there is no place for violence in the name of religion, ethnicity, or in any guise whatsoever.”

The attack occurred at Talata Mafara, when a mob, suspected to be students of State-owned Abdu Gusau Polytechnic, on Monday descended on a man they accused of blaspheming the Prophet of Islam.

Eyewitnesses said on Tuesday that the trouble began when a student of the Polytechnic, who was a Muslim before he converted to Christianity, was accused of blasphemy against Prophet Muhammad. The students assaulted him until they thought he was dead.

According to the eyewitness, a man from the same tribe with the student took him to the hospital in his car.

When the mob got to know what happened, they rushed to the hospital, but could not get the man who only sent the student to the hospital and left. Another person reached the hospital before the mob and took the injured student away.

The mob returned to town and burned the vehicle that was used to send their injured colleague to hospital. They also went to the man’s house and burned it down. About eight people who were said to be in the house died.

The eyewitness said that three other persons may have died when security agents opened fire on the crowd when they became uncontrollable.

Zamfara State spokesman, Mr Mohammed Shehu, said that a state Security Council meeting was held immediately after the incident and a dusk to dawn curfew imposed. The Polytechnic has been closed down indefinitely.

Mr Shehu added that there has been security reinforcement in the town which is calm.
-0- PANA MON/MA 23Aug2016

23 august 2016 18:45:58

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