The Jama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI), headed by the sultan of Sokoto, Mohammed Sa’ad Abubakar IV, has condemned the murder of Bridget Agbahime, a 74-year-old woman, in Kano by a mob for alleged blasphemy.
Secretary-general of JNI, Khalid Abubakar Aliyu, described the killing as “criminal and unIslamic” in a statement issued in Kaduna.
JNI, which also condemned a similar incident in Niger state, said: “These ugly incidences utterly stand condemned and are regarded as criminal and unIslamic, perpetrated by miscreants and criminals.”
The Islamic group said “it is hardly believable that such dastardly acts could happen in the name of religion, considering the various enlightenment programs on interfaith and mutual co-existence being put in place by the Muslim scholars and the leadership”.
It commiserated with the family of the deceased over the incident and prayed God to grant her “eternal rest”.
Aliyu added that “the Sultan of Sokoto and President-General, JNI calls on all to remain calm and avoid all actions that could lead to the breach of law and order.
“The generality of Muslims are also implored to fervently pray for the restoration of peace and security in Nigeria bearing in mind that without Nigeria there will be no Nigerians. On the other hand, respective state governments must rise to the occasion in protecting the lives of the citizenry, for it is a primary constitutional responsibility upon which their legitimacy is derived.”
The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in the 19 Northern States has also condemned the killing, saying it was barbaric and unacceptable.
Joseph Hayab, a reverend and the body’s PRO, told TheCable that the allegations of blasphemy levelled against the deceased were not even true.
He said: “From the information we gathered, Bridget never committed blasphemy as claimed by those who killed her.
“Information reaching us has revealed that one of her killers had been looking for her trouble very often and on that day he went to her shop and started his ablution at the entrance of her shop and she complained and argument ensued.”
According to him, the man, who was performing his ablution, started shouting “Allahu akbar” and a mob surrounded her shop and started attacking her.
Hayab urged the Kano government to ensure that the perpetrators of the devilish act are brought to book, saying that CAN will closely monitor the situation to ensure that justice is done.
“We cannot say we are Nigerians and some people will wake up and kill a fellow Nigerian at will in the name of religion and they are not brought to justice,” he said.
“Our religious leaders must come out and preach the true tenets of religion, because this arrogance is getting too much.”