A student of the Shehu Shagari College of Education in Sokoto, Northwest Nigeria, was reportedly and as seen in a now-viral video lynched for alleged blasphemy.
Eyewitnesses and the police who confirmed the incident say a student was assaulted and burned to death by fellow students on Thursday after she was suspected of making a profane social media post.
News Central TV gathered that the alleged ‘blasphemy’ started when someone sent a broadcast message to a WhatsApp group of the students, to which Deborah, the murdered student, was also a member.
According to a student of the college, Jamila, who spoke to Premium Times, she narrated: “It was that kind of message that will ask you to share with other groups if you don’t want evil to befall you,”.
On seeing the post, the now-deceased Deborah responded with a message and complained that such messages should not be sent to a WhatsApp group created for the sharing of important information about tests and assignments.
“Send us important information. This group was not created for you to send useless information. It was created for you to send past questions if there is a test or an assignment. It is not for you to send useless information. Which prophet?”, the late Deborah was quoted to have stated this in a voice note she shared to the WhatsApp group.
Jamila said although she later deleted the voice note, other members of the group had shared it among their friends in the school. It eventually sparked tension among the students on the campus.
When the situation became more serious, the school authorities dispatched security men to protect Samuel, but they were overwhelmed by enraged students.
“Students forcefully removed the victim from the security room where she was hidden by the school authorities, killed her, and burnt the building,” said Sokoto police spokesperson Sanusi Abubakar.
A video of the incident posted on social media and verified by The Associated Press showed Samuel lying on the ground as she was stoned and beaten with planks. The young men surrounding her then dumped tires on her and set them ablaze.
Abubakar said two students have been arrested in connection with the incident while an investigation directed by Sokoto Governor Aminu Tambuwal is underway.
“The suspects in the viral video on Twitter were spotted and will be (identified) soon,” he said.
The Sokoto Sultanate Council has condemned the dastardly act and urged security operatives to apprehend the perpetrators, while maintaining calm.
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