Blasphemy: If they can kill fellow Muslim, no one is safe – HURIWA laments, blames Osinbajo, others


Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, HURIWA, has warned that no one is safe anymore if Muslims could accuse one of their own of blasphemy, lynch him and set him on fire in broad daylight.


The group also noted that all this happened without any kind of police intervention, insisting that policing in Nigeria has totally collapsed.


HURIWA said that the response time to violent incidents by the Nigeria Police Force is indeterminate due to a lack of professionalism and leadership.


This is following the gruesome incident in which a 30-year-old member of a local vigilante group, Ahmad Usman, was killed in Lugbe, Airport Rd area of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, on Saturday for allegedly insulting Islam. HURIWA further described the killing as primitive.


HURIWA noted that the incident at the Federal Housing Estates in Lugbe, Abuja, is the second in recent times that Islamic extremists have killed persons framed up for blasphemy or alleged to have committed blasphemy in Abuja.


It said that these ugly incidents show that President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration is tolerant of Islamic extremism since it lacks the wherewithal and political will to act decisively to arrest those who had killed many Nigerians on similar trumped-up allegations by mobs and the killers were left to roam around freely.


HURIWA said the Federal Government under the current dispensation has shown a shocking habit of cohabitation with mass killers, terrorists, and kidnappers.


It said there has been an overwhelming amount of killings under the nose of Buhari’s administration in the last seven years that have been deliberately left uninvestigated and no known actions have been taken to put the killers where they should be, such as sending them for firing squads execution.


HURIWA recalled that in the first of the two killings of persons by Islamic extremists in Abuja, Mrs. Eunice Elisha, a Redeemed Christian Church of God pastor, was hacked to death at the Gbazango area of Kubwa, Abuja, by suspected Muslim fanatics, while conducting an early morning preaching.


The group also apportioned blame to the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, and the Catholic Bishops of Nigeria for failing to consistently speak out and maintain a principled stand to obtain justice for the Christians murdered serially by Islamists. It said that the Christian leaders simply made faint statements full of immaturity and panic and after that initial grandstanding the Christian leaders simply go to sleep and the killings of Christians continue unabated.


In its first formal response, CAN said the attack was “yet another religious, hatred-motivated gruesome murder” that was growing under the Muhammadu Buhari administration.


“The discrimination against non-Muslims in Nigeria under the Buhari Administration is assuming a dangerous dimension that should not be left to the vagaries of time and circumstance to resolve,” the organisation warned.


HURIWA also blamed Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, also a Pastor at the Redeemed Christian Church of God, for doing nothing about the first case of the brutal killing of the female preacher from his church, Mrs. Elisha.


The rights group said it doesn’t really matter that the latest victim of killings by Islamists was a Moslem but essentially what this shows is that the Federal Government under Buhari is complicit in all of the religiously motivated hate crimes for taking no administrative, security, or activate mechanisms for arrests and prosecution of these killers.


HURIWA said although the victim of the latest insane mob action in Abuja was a Moslem like his killers, this means that just anyone can be framed up and publicly executed and the collapsed Nigerian police can only arrive after the deed has been completed and the killers dispersed o their own accord.


HURIWA recalled that the latest avoidable incident, which occurred at the Lugbe timber market section of Fruit Market in Federal Housing Estates in Lugbe Abuja, involved a Moslem but the person killed is a citizen of Nigeria with all his constitutionally guaranteed fundamental human rights and the government failed in its legal obligation to protect the citizen.


It also blamed the police for failing to act swiftly to prevent the crime from happening instead of waiting for the armed Islamists to take action by killing the citizen before a stampede was instigated as police fired gunshots to dispatch people.


HURIWA lamented thus: “Nigeria police has no skills in swift response to emergencies and incidents of crimes but often arrive hours after the incidents and start creating undue harassment of onlookers who may be totally innocent. This policing strategy of coming after the occurrence of crimes demonstrates the collapse of policing in Nigeria needing immediate action to revive, reform and restructure policing institutions in Nigeria including the Department of State Services because since government is deliberately lethargic, just anyone can be a victim tomorrow.”


“It is indeed shocking that the police did nothing and left the mob action to take place around 1 pm on Saturday after Usman sought refuge in the vigilante office in the market. Findings revealed that the local security outfit was overpowered before Usman was killed in front of the office after which his body was set ablaze. Yet the police were not physically present to stop this from happening only for the police to be reeling out the funny figure that the mob numbered more than 200 people. Is Nigeria Police Force now a unit of the National Population Commission so much so that they abandoned their law enforcement and crime prevention duties to be engaged in conducting a head count of killers of the victim of the blasphemy execution in Abuja at the weekend and ended up not arresting even one of the 200 counted by Police?

“If he (Usman) was caught buying food in the market in the afternoon. When the blasphemy occurred, there were only a few people there and a stick was used to hit him in the head, why did the police not respond much faster and earlier in the morning or does the police lack Intelligence gathering skills? But only after that, he was stoned before he ran into the office. His colleagues at the office could not protect him due to the number of people that chased him and then after he became unconscious, petrol was poured on him and he was burnt in front of the office and only then people witness the arrival of policemen after the heinous crime has been committed and the Federal Government won’t sanction the police head in FCT for dereliction of duty because apparently, the current government is pro-Islamic extremists.”


HURIWA said only on May 12, a mob in Sokoto had gruesomely murdered Deborah Samuel, a female student of Shagari College of Education, and set her body ablaze after she was accused of committing blasphemy against Prophet Muhammed with a post on the school’s Whatsapp group with the killers still roaming freely.


The association asked that the President himself takes steps to ensure that the culprits of this and the many other crimes of a mass execution by Islamists are arrested, prosecuted, and punished just as the rights group dismissed the FCT’s police claim that normalcy has been restored after the brutal murder of the citizen in Lugbe. It added that normalcy can only be restored when the killers are unmasked, prosecuted and possibly made to face the firing squads for their crime against humanity and then for the police to become professional and respond swiftly to crime incidents.

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