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Nigerian man burned alive by supporters of Muslim cleric for blasphemy


A Nigerian man has been set on fire in the capital Abuja by supporters of a Muslim cleric for blasphemy. It is the second incident in two months after a Christian woman was burned to death by a mob in May after being accused of insulting the Prophet Muhammad.

In Saturday’s incident, Ahmad Usman, 30, a member of a local vigilante, was confronted by an angry mob, numbering around 200. They beat, stoned and then set fire to Usman before the police officers n intervene.

According to reports, the matter escalated after Usman had a falling out with an unidentified Muslim cleric in the Lugbe area of ​​Abuja.

“The heated argument escalated into an outbreak of violence that led to the murder and burning of Ahmad Usman by the enraged mob mobilized by the clergy numbering about two hundred,” spokeswoman Josephine Adeh said. of the Abuja police, quoted by Reuters.

Although Nigeria is a secular nation, some northern states with a majority Muslim community observe Islamic Sharia and have courts that punish those accused of deviating from its practices.

Since the incident, police and ambush teams have been patrolling the area and closely monitoring any unscrupulous activity. Adeh said normality had been restored. No arrests were made.

Meanwhile, the Abuja Police Commissioner said on Sunday that the perpetrators would be punished and warned against using so-called ‘jungle justice’ – taking the law into your own hands, VOA news reports.

However, many businesses in the area remained closed on Saturday evening for fear that more violence could break out.

Blasphemy is a sensitive topic in Africa’s most populous nation with a delicate balance between Muslim and Christian populations.

Three weeks ago, a mob in the northwestern state of Sokoto killed and burned the body of a Christian student at Shehu Shagari College for alleged blasphemy.

The incident sparked protests from Christian groups and human rights organizations. Some of the groups have called on the authorities to strike blasphemy off the books as a punishable offense under Nigerian law, but for now it remains on the books.

(With agency contributions)

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Post expires at 7:15am on Wednesday June 15th, 2022

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