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Woman Set On Fire In Nigeria After Being Accused Of Blasphemous Voice Note

by : Daisy Phillipson on :
Woman Set On Fire In Nigeria After Being Accused Of Blasphemous Voice Note
Woman Set On Fire In Nigeria After Being Accused Of Blasphemous Voice Note (Newsflash/Alamy)

A female student was beaten and set on fire after being accused of a blasphemous voice note on WhatsApp. 

The shocking incident unfolded in Nigeria, with a mob made up of fellow students beating and stoning Deborah Samuel before setting her on fire. 

Local reports state that police were notified of the incident and have arrested at least two suspects in connection with the killing. 

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One of Samuel’s classmates had posted a religious message in their group chat, to which she asked why they would ‘always be sending this religious stuff in the group’.

According to a translation of the exchange, Samuel, who was Christian, added: “The group wasn’t created for that, but rather as a notice for when there’s a test, assignment, exams, etc, not these nonsense religious posts."

Deborah Samuel. Credit: Newsflash
Deborah Samuel. Credit: Newsflash

One of her counterparts responded with a voice note saying that she had blasphemed, and the discussion started to circulate amongst the Muslim community at the Shehu Shagari College of Education Wamako in Nigeria's north-western most state of Sokoto.

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The north of the country is primarily Muslim while the south is largely Christian, causing religious tensions made worse by attacks from terrorist group Boko Haram.

It’s reported that those who were angry about the voice note believed the woman ‘made blasphemous statements about Prophet Muhammad’. 

Teachers attempted to protect Samuel from the violent group, but despite the fact that she was being kept in a security room at the school, they managed to drag her out and kill her while smashing and setting fire to the building.

Credit: Alamy
Credit: Alamy
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Police who were called to the scene also failed to stop the murder, despite using teargas in an attempt to deter the mob. 

The Shehu Shagari College was quoted as condemning the ‘unfortunate happenings that led to the loss of life of a female student at the institution’. 

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Disturbing footage of the attack surfaced showing the gang beating the student with sticks before setting her on fire using tyres.

In a statement, police spokesperson Sanusi Abubakar said: “Students forcefully removed the victim from the security room where she was hidden by the school authorities, killed her and burnt the building.

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“The suspects in the viral video on Twitter were spotted and will be nailed soon.”

Nigerian activist and comedian Debo Adebayo is among those who condemned the killing, posting a tweet in which he called on the state governor to take action. 

He wrote: “According to multiple reports, Deborah, a female student of Shehu Shagari College of Education in Sokoto, accused of Blasphemy was killed and burnt. 

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“This is what happens when there are no consequences for actions in society. The government must wake up from their slumber!!

"Justice must be served!!! And it must be swiftly done!! If not, we would be enabling a society wherein religious extremists take law into their hand, kill and destroy. 

“These acts should be highly condemned lest we add more tension and Chaos to a society already on the edge!!!"

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