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Nigeria’s top Islamic body condemns mob killing of Christian woman

KANO, NIGERIA: The umbrella body for Nigerian Muslim groups on yesterday condemned the mob killing of an elderly Christian woman in northern city of Kano last week, describing the perpetrators as “miscreants and criminals.”

Bridget Agbahime, 74, the wife of a pastor, was killed last Thursday in the Wambai area of Kano, the region’s largest city. The act is “criminal and un-Islamic, perpetrated by miscreants and criminals,” Jama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI) said in a statement. The Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammadu Sa’adu Abubakar, who is the supreme head of all Muslims in Nigeria, is the JNI president.

“It is hardly believable that such dastardly acts could happen in the name of religion,” JNI said. The body commiserated with Agbahime’s widower and said the Sultan appealed to all to remain calm and avoid actions that could breach law and order.

Nigerian President Mohammadu Buhari on Saturday called the killing “utterly condemnable” and urged tolerance. He vowed that the perpetrators would be brought to justice and urged people not to take matters into their own hands.

Kano state governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje and prominent community and leaders on Friday held a meeting over the incident and issued a joint statement condemning the killing.

Abahime, an ethnic Igbo trader was “mobbed and extra-judicially murdered” at a market, according to a police statement. Two suspects have been arrested, according to Nigeria’s police chief Solomon Arase. Kano has been blighted by religious violence in the past. In one notorious case in 1996 an Igbo Christian trader, Gideon Akaluka, was beheaded by suspected Muslims youths who accused him of desecrating the Koran. His severed head was then hoisted on a spike and paraded around the city.-AFP

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