The Christian Association of Nigeria has condemned the killing of a butcher, Usman Buda, over alleged blasphemous comments by religious extremists in Sokoto State with a call on the government to ensure the protection of all citizens’ rights, regardless of their religious affiliations.
The President of CAN, Daniel Okoh, in a statement in Abuja, extended condolences to the family and friends of the deceased.
He said, “According to reports reaching us, Usman Buda was brutally murdered over an alleged blasphemous comment. We firmly believe in the freedom of religion and the peaceful expression of beliefs. We, therefore, denounce any form of violence or jungle justice in the name of religion.
“We urge religious leaders and followers to promote interfaith dialogue and peaceful coexistence for a harmonious Nigeria. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Usman Buda during this difficult time.”
A butcher identified as Usman Buda was killed in Sokoto over alleged blasphemous comment against the Holy Prophet Mohammed.
The butcher allegedly was said to have made the comment during an argument with another trader recently. It was gathered that the incident happened at the Sokoto main Abattoir around 8.00am few days ago.
“He was beaten to death by his fellow butchers. His corpse was later taken to Usman Dan Fodio University Teaching Hospital by the police.
The deceased was selling cow entrails at the Sokoto Fish and Vegetables market which was known as Kasuwan Dankure.
“Upon receiving the information, the Commissioner of Police, Area Commander Metro and DPO Kwanni led a team of policemen and all other operational commanders to the scene.
“On arrival, the mob escaped the scene and left the victim unconscious where he was rescued and taken to Usmanu Dan Fodio Teaching Hospital Sokoto (UDUTH) for treatment and was later confirmed dead,” a statement signed by the Public Relations Officer of the Command, ASP Ahmad Rufa’i, said.
Meanwhile, the Governor of Sokoto State, Dr. Ahmed Aliyu Sokoto, has called on the people of the state to remain calm and law abiding at all times.
The governor made the plea in a statement signed by his spokesperson, Mr. Abubakar Bawa, following an attack on Usman.
The governor cautioned the people against any act capable of downgrading the personality of Prophet Muhammad, especially in a state like Sokoto which is a Muslim dominated community.
Aliyu said that Sokoto people have so much respect and regard for Prophet Muhammad, hence the need for all the residents to respect and protect his dignity and personality.
He said: “I want to call on the people of Sokoto State to avoid taking laws into their hands, instead, they should report any alleged crime or blasphemy to the appropriate quarters for necessary action.
“Our religion does not encourage taking laws into one’s hand, so let us try to be good followers of our religion.”
The governor also said that the his administration would not take the issue of blasphemy lightly, and will deal decisively with anyone found guilty of any act aimed at degrading the personality of Prophet Muhammad in line with the provision of Islamic laws.
The governor also assured the people of his administration’s commitment to guarantee the safety of lives and property of all law abiding citizens.
The governor also warned trouble makers to have a change of mind, adding that Sokoto is a wrong place for them.