Angry Muslim youths in Kano on Thursday evening decapitated a woman trader over allegations that she blasphemed Prophet Muhammad.
The victim, who was said to be of Igbo extraction was accused of blasphemy during a religious argument at Wambai market.
The woman, who sells plastics at the local market was in the company of her husband when she was murdered.
Contacted, the Public Relations Officer of the Kano Police Command, DSP Musa Magaji, confirmed the incident.
He said: “At about 4:30 pm, there was a disagreement between the murdered woman and some traders bordering on religion.
“The woman was said to have blasphemed Prophet Mohammed, which did not go down well with the mob.”
He said the woman whose name he didn’t disclose, was in the company of her husband when the incident happened but the timely intervention of the police saved the husband, who was immediately whisked away for safety.
The victim was later identified by police sources as ‘Bridget Patience Agbaheme’ who is an Igbo lady from Imo state.
Late Mrs. Bridget Agbaheme was known to be a quiet and decent woman. She was married to Pastor Mike Agbaheme, a senior pastor with Deeper Life Bible Church in the state in 1982. The deceased family hails from Orodo village in Mbaitolu Local Government area of Imo State.
A trader at the Kofar Wambai market spoke highly of the deceased: “I knew her as a woman that respects people and I doubt if she can make any statement capable of blasphemy.
Mrs Bridget Agbaheme had many customers buying goods from her petty trading along the roadside but I suspect may be her enemies incited a riotous mob against her.”
Following the tension that pervaded the area, many Christians stayed indoors or limited their movements to seemingly volatile areas as fear persists that the extremists may be up to something else.
In the light of the above, the Joint Security Task Force (JTF) in the state, in a bid to reinstate public confidence, deployed armoured carriers vehicles and over 30 pickup vans filled with security officers, personnel who patrolled the city capital in the morning hours.
Kano State chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has decried the killing and the circumstance leading to the pastor’s wife’s death. They held an emergency meeting, but would make their position public in due course.
The leader of the Deeper Life Bible Church, Pastor Kumuyi has requested for details of the incident.
An emergency meeting of the Imo Community Association was going on somewhere in Sabon -Garri Area of the state as at Press time while the Chairman of the Igbo Community Association, Chief Eni Michael has described the death as barbaric and “most painful to every Igbo man and woman in the state”.
He said that Igbo people living in Kano demand nothing but justice, adding that they would monitor the situation untill the perpetrators of the dastardly act are brought to justice.
“We are not happy at all. A human being is a human being, no matter his tribe or state of origin. Her death is a challenge, we must make sure it does not happen again. And that will start with making sure that those behind this murder do not go scot-free.”
He charged the police to extend their dragnets to bring in anybody that played a role in the mob action against the Igbo lady.
Many more have condemned the heinous act, with religious leaders and clerics describing it as barbaric and inexcusable.
In a press statement, the Ohanaeze Ndigbo in Kano State said the organization is saddened by the violent incident. The statement was signed by President of the Ndigbo, Chris Chukwubuzor Asuka and his secretary, Damian Obisike.
“We wish to condemn the extrajudicial murder of Mrs. Briget Agbaheme, and we call on the authorities to take every step needed to investigate the incident properly so as to ascertain exactly what happened and to hold those responsible accountable for their actions.
“We are worried by the alarming culture of violence and bloodshed in Nigeria where faceless elements take laws into their hands often on the ground of religion without recourse to the rule of law.”
The statement also called on all Kano citizens, especially the Sabon Gari Community to remain calm and law abiding while the incident is investigated.
According to the press release, Islam and Christianity are religions of peace, and we all have a duty of respecting our religion and that of others. They admonished Christians and Muslims alike not to engage in acts capable of provoking ethnic or religious tensions under any guise.
Credit: The Sun