Student burnt to death for blasphemy in Nigeria

Melancholy, Nigeria: There was tension in Sokoto State on Thursday morning after a female student was beaten and burnt to death in Sokoto for allegedly insulting Prophet Muhammad.

Deborah Samuel was killed in the Shehu Shagari College of Education in Sokoto state after being charged with “making a social media post that cursed. Prophet Muhammad,” according to a police statement. Till now, two students have been arrested in connection with the incident.

Advertisement

Authorities also closed the school indefinitely in a bid to calm frayed nerves in that part of Nigeria where residents have in the past violently reacted to actions or comments deemed anti-Islamic.

The death of Samuel caused anger and shock among many Nigerians on social media.

The incident highlights the deep religious tension among the African population that is almost evenly divided between Christians in the south and Muslims in the north.

An atheist was in April detained for 24 years in jail over a social media post that a court in the northern Kano state found to be blasphemous against Islam.

According to Witnesses that Samuel, a second-year college student whose age did not reveal publically, was immediately attacked by her classmates after she criticized a post related to religion on the Students’ WhatsApp group.

As per one of the residents and human rights activists in Sokoto, ‘Basharu Guyawa Isa’, “She was angry the way her classmates (Muslims) were talking about un-Islamic utterances against Prophet Mohammed.

Advertisement

The administration of the school immediately deployed security personnel to protect Samuel, but they were beaten by angry youths.

According to Sokoto police spokesperson ‘Sanusi Abubakar’, students forcefully removed the victim to the room of security where she was hidden by school authorities, killed her and burnt the building.

Video of the incident circulated on social media in which that girl was lying on the ground as she was bombed and hit with planks. The young men covering her then dumped tires on her and set them ablaze.

According to Abubakar, two students have been detained in connection with the incident while an investigation directed by Sokoto Governor Aminu Tambuwal is under process.

“The doubtful people in the viral video on Twitter were stained and will be (identified) soon,” he said.