Nigerian authorities ordered a curfew in a northwestern state where hundreds protested on Saturday to demand the release of suspects in the brutal murder of a Christian student accused of blasphemy against Islam.
Sokoto state governor Aminu Tambuwal imposed a 24-hour curfew “effective immediately” as protests in the state capital swelled amid sectarian tensions.
The victim, identified as Deborah Samuel, was stoned, beaten and burned to death at Shehu Shagari College of Education in Sokoto state on Friday after being accused of “authoring a social media post that … blasphemes the Prophet Muhammad.” , said the police.
Authorities closed the school and asked other students to vacate the premises. Nonetheless, students rallied on Saturday to demand that police release their two fellow students, who were being held as suspects in connection with the murder.
The assassination of Christian Samuel highlights deep divisions along religious lines in Africa’s most populous country, where violence has historically erupted in response to acts or statements deemed anti-Islamic.
In the distant state of Kaduna, some 500 kilometers from Sokoto, the state government also banned protests “related to religious activities” and led “movements of some unpatriotic elements” to organize a demonstration against the Sokoto incident.
Both Christian and Muslim leaders condemned the student’s murder and called for the perpetrators to be brought to justice.
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari “said news of the young lady’s killing by fellow students is worrying and called for an impartial, full investigation into all events leading up to and during the incident,” a spokesman said.
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/ap-nigeria-christian-abuja-muhammad-b2079179.html Nigeria: Brutal murder of student sparks protest, curfew