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Irate Katsina mob burns house, car over alleged blasphemy

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House on fire

The police have commenced a search for those responsible for the burning down of the house and a car of one Mani Habu Abubakar on Tuesday night over the alleged blasphemy of Prophet Mohammed in Katsina State.

This was disclosed by the Commissioner of Police, Aliyu Musa, on Thursday.

The house, located at Sabon Garin Alhaji Yahuza Village, Batagarawa Local Government Area of Katsina State, was reportedly razed down by the irate mob.

According to reports, some protesters burned the house and Abubakar’s car around 8 p.m. on Tuesday for his alleged blasphemy of Prophet Mohammed in his remarks on a Facebook page.

The command stated that its operatives in the council intervened that night to douse tension in the community.

The statement by the command on Thursday also disclosed that the police commissioner held a meeting with various stakeholders in the state, including religious and opinion leaders, at the police headquarters to further douse the tension in the community and the state.

Furthermore, the command revealed that its operatives had launched a manhunt for those who burned Abubakar’s house and his car.

A statement signed by the command’s spokesman, Abubakar Aliyu, read, “On January 30, 2024, about 8.15 pm, a distress call was received at the Batagarawa Divisional Police Headquarters on an ongoing protest at Sabon Garin Alhaji Yahuza Village, Batagarawa Local Government Area, over an alleged ‘blasphemy’ by one Mani Habu Abubakar, alias Sadi, of the same address, via a Facebook post.

“The irate crowd set ablaze his residence and motor vehicle as he and his family escaped unhurt. Upon receipt of the report, officers were swiftly mobilised and drafted to the scene, where they successfully doused the tension, diminishing the risk of further damage.”

According to reports, the state Commissioner for Religious Affairs, Ishaq Shehu, traditional leaders, religious leaders, and other relevant stakeholders in the state attended the meeting with the police on Thursday.

The Katsina police commissioner urged stakeholders to encourage their followers to embrace peace and serve as peace ambassadors at all levels, while also urging the general population to continue to obey the law and avoid breaking it.

He said, “Detectives are actively pursuing various leads to identify and apprehend the culprit(s) behind the dastardly act.”

He emphasised the command’s commitment to maintaining peace, law, and order while ensuring the protection of Katsina State’s residents.

Venerable Muyiwa Segun, Vice Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria in Katsina, also claimed that relative quiet had been restored “after proactive measures by the state’s Commissioner of Police.”

According to reports, Abubakar and his family were still in hiding as of Thursday, although normalcy had returned to the community.

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