ABUJA, Nigeria ( Associated Press) — Nigerian authorities have ordered a curfew in a northwestern state where hundreds of people protested Saturday demanding the release of those suspected of brutally killing a Christian student accused of blaspheming the Islam.
Sokoto state governor Aminu Tambujal imposed a 24-hour curfew “effective immediately” as protests grew in the state capital amid religious tensions.
The victim, identified as Deborah Samuel, was stoned, beaten and burned to death on Friday at the Shehu Shagari College of Education in Sokoto state, after being accused of “making a post on social media that blasphemed … the Prophet Muhammad.” ”, indicated the police.
The authorities closed the school and asked the other students to vacate the premises. However, students demonstrated on Saturday to demand that the police release their two classmates detained as suspects in connection with the murder.
The death of Samuel, a Christian believer, underscores the deep religious divide in Africa’s most populous country, where violence has erupted in the past in response to actions or comments deemed anti-Islamic.
In the remote state of Kaduna, some 500 kilometers (310 miles) from Sokoto, the state government also banned protests “related to religious activity,” citing “movements by some unpatriotic elements” to stage a demonstration over 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 “stated the news of the young woman’s murder by other students as worrying and demanded an impartial and thorough investigation of everything that happened before and during the incident,” according to a spokesman’s statement.