Nigeria: Man burned to death by angry mob after row with Muslim cleric


A man was burned to death by an angry mob of Muslims in Nigeria's capital Abuja on Saturday after an argument with a cleric who mobilized his followers against the victim, police said.

According to an Abuja police statement, the incident took place in the Lugbe neighborhood after a 30-year-old guard, Ahmad Usman, "got into an argument with a Muslim religious leader".

The argument escalated when the monk mobilized his followers. About 200 people violently attacked Ahmad Usman before setting him on fire, police said.

Calm has since returned to the neighborhood and the reasons for the conflict between the two men were not immediately communicated.

Police did not say whether or not he was linked to a case of blasphemy, a very sensitive and tense subject in Africa's most populous country, divided almost equally between a predominantly Christian south, and a predominantly Muslim north.

Blasphemy is punishable by death under Sharia, which applies alongside common law in several northern Nigerian states. But mob lynchings are common.

In May, a mob set fire to homes and shops in the northern state of Bauchi, following a "blasphemous message posted on social media", according to local police.

This violence occurred a few days after the stoning to death of Deborah Samuel, a Christian student from the northern city of Sokoto, by a mob of young Muslims at the university, who accused her of posting an insulting message for the Prophet Muhammad.

Four days later, hundreds of Muslims demonstrated in the northeastern city of Maiduguri to demand the death of another Christian woman, again in connection with an allegedly blasphemous online post.

The Editorial Board (with AFP)

Image credit: / Tayvay

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Summary of news from March 23, 2023

By The Editorial Board
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