The governor of Sokoto State, Ahmed Aliyu, has vowed that his administration will deal decisively with anyone who commits ‘blasphemy’ against the Islamic Prophet Muhammad bin Abdullah (PBUH).
The governor made the declaration in a statement signed by his spokesperson, Abubakar Bawa, while warning against any act capable of “degrading the personality of Prophet Muhammad SAW, especially in a state like Sokoto, which is predominantly a Muslim-dominated community.”
His warning comes moments after a mob stoned to death a butcher identified as Usman Buda on Sunday at a place called Abattoir in over an allegation of blasphemy.
Ahmad Rufai, Sokoto police spokesperson who confirmed the killing was quoted to have said that, “We got a distress call in the morning around 9:20 a.m. that a mob attacked one person by name Usman Buda, at Abattoir in Sokoto. They alleged him to have insulted prophet Mohammed (SWAT).
“On reaching the scene, people there took to their heels leaving him in bloodshed, seriously injured. We rescued him and took him to hospital. Unfortunately, later in the day he passed away.”
Some of Buda’s closest business partners in the market who made attempts to rescue him were also injured by the extremists, and now receiving medical treatment.
Reacting to the development, the governor, through his spokesman, Bawa said there’s a need for all the residents to respect and protect the prophet’s dignity and personality.
The statement read, “Sokoto State Governor, Dr. Ahmed Aliyu, has called on the people of the state to remain calm and law-abiding at all times. The governor cautioned the people against any act capable of degrading the personality of Prophet Muhammad SAW, especially in a state like Sokoto, which is a predominantly Muslim-dominated community.
“Dr Aliyu said that Sokoto people have so much respect and regard for Prophet Muhammad SAW, hence the need for all the residents to respect, protect his dignity and personality.
“I want to call on the people of Sokoto State to avoid taking laws into their own hands and instead report any alleged crime or blasphemy to the appropriate quarters for necessary action.
“Our religion does not encourage taking laws into one’s hands, so let us try to be good followers of our religion,” he appealed.
Aliyu’s spokesperson further noted that the governor has warned would-be troublemakers to have a change of mind, adding that Sokoto is the wrong place for them.
Bawa said, “He added that the present administration will not take the issue of blasphemy lightly, and will deal decisively with anyone found guilty of any act aimed at degrading the personality of Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, in line with the provision of Islamic laws.
“The governor assured the people of the state of his administration’s commitment to guarantee the safety of lives and property of all law-abiding citizens.
“The governor also warned would-be troublemakers to have a change of mind, adding that Sokoto is a wrong place for them.”