Mob kills man accused of blasphemy in Sokoto, see Police comments

An irate mob in Sokoto on Sunday killed a butcher, Usman Buda, after he was accused of making blasphemous comments against Prophet Muhammad.

The incident occurred at the Sokoto metropolis abbatoir around 10:00 am.

A witness, who only gave his name as Aliyu, told PREMIUM TIMES over the phone that Mr Buda made blasphemous comment and repeated it three times when confronted by some of the people present.

“My brother was at the abattoir when it occurred. When Usman (Mr Buda) insulted the Prophet, some people said he had mental issues, but most of those around him, who were his business friends, said he was never known to have any mental issues.

“Some young men challenged Usman (Mr Buda) to withdraw his statement, but he insisted he would not. He even repeated it thrice. That was when they started beating him,” Mr Aliyu said.

The witness, however, did not say the blasphemous statement Mr Buda was accused of making.

Sokoto police comment

The Sokoto State Police Command confirmed the killing in a statement by its spokesperson, Ahmad Rufai.

He said the command received information on the incident and quickly swung into action.

“On 25th June 2023 at about 0955hrs, a distress call was received at about 0920hrs that one Usman Buda ‘M’ of Gwandu LGA a Butcher at Sokoto Abbatoir allegedly blasphemed the holy prophet Muhammad (SAW); as a result, he was mobbed and attacked by some Muslims faithful and inflicted Serious injuries on him.

“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 Danfodio Teaching Hospital Sokoto (UDUTH) for treatment and was later confirmed dead at the said Hospital. Meanwhile, the area is calm,” he said.

Mr Rufai said the command had begun an investigation into the incident.

In May 2022, a student of the Shehu Shagari College of Education in Sokoto, Deborah Samuel, was lynched by her fellow students after being accused of blasphemy.

Protests broke out when the police arrested some suspects in connection with the gruesome killing. Nobody has been charged with the killing.

As the protest spread, the government of Sokoto declared a curfew to get the situation under control.

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