On Monday, 22 August, 2016, it was reported that 8 polytechnic students were burned to death by Islamists in Talata Mafara town, Gusau, the capital of Zamfara state, Nigeria. One of the students was alleged to have blasphemed against Prophet Mohamed.
According to news reports, the student was said to have committed blasphemy against Islam and the Prophet Mohamed during an altercation with some Muslim students. Fearing for his life, he ran into the house for safety. The Islamists mob went on a rampage in the town and set the house on fire, burning 7 other students along with the alleged blasphemer.
Later reports from other news sources claimed that, the student in a heated argument had blasphemed against Islam and Prophet Mohamed, he was beaten to a pulp by the enraged islamists . A man whose name was given as Tajudeen, tried to rescue the student in his car and drove him to the hospital. In retaliation, the Islamists mob set the man’s house on fire, killing the eight occupants in the house.
Whatever the conflict in reports, the one constant was that eight people were burnt to death by Islamist fanatics who were enraged because of a blasphemy against their religion and prophet.
When I first read about this and saw the gory pictures, I thought surely this can’t be true, not again, not in this age, but, well, it is Northern Nigeria, the home of Sharia Law and it seems, the seat and headquarters of everything barbaric in Nigeria.
The images of the burnt bodies are too violent and appalling to post.
It was reported that the polytechnic was immediately closed down by the school authorities to avoid trouble. A curfew was also imposed on the town by the Zamfara State police command. In a Press statement the Police Public Relations Officer, Deputy Superintendent Shehu Muhammad, said the curfew was to maintain peace in the area.
I wonder why the Students’ Union have not protested. Is it because majority of the students in this polytechnic are Muslims? Is this a tacit support of religion and its atrocities?
What is the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) doing? Even if protest is banned in Gusau, why has there not been protests across the nation? Are the lives of those students worth nothing? Is the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) afraid of protesting religious atrocities committed against its members?
President Buhari, who is a keen Sharia supporter, and who was instrumental to legalising Sharia Law in the Northern parts of Nigeria, tweeted
“I assure that the law will take its course. Under my watch we will work to ensure that there is no place for violence in the name of religion, ethnicity, or in any guise whatsoever”
Why has there not been arrests especially with President Buhari’s lip service to bringing the culprits to justice? I think the President needs to take these religion motivated killings more seriously. Just a tweet from the president on this appalling murders does not convey a serious intent to tackle this religious malady of his people.
Is the fear of Islam the beginning of wisdom or the decline of sanity in Nigeria? So many questions, so few answers. However, what is certain is that Religion is a cancer that should no longer be ignored. Islam is not a religion of peace, never has been, never will be.
Northern Nigeria is a classic example of what warped religious fanaticism does to people and a region. Even though it is known as the political power of Nigeria due to the high number of Nigerian Head of States it has produced, it is still the least developed part of Nigeria. Educational enrolment in the North is still low compared to the rest of the country, probably because some of them would rather turn their children into Almajeris to beg for alms for their Imams than send their children to schools because they are opposed to western education.
It is sad that days after this incident, not a single arrest has been made. I wanted so much to believe it was just a hoax, but news has confirmed this is no hoax. In this age, some group of people deliberately set a house on fire with the intent to kill those they believed has blasphemed against their religion. 8 people were burned to death by those religious barbarians who are still walking free on the streets of Gusau, Zamfara state, Nigeria. These murderers are walking free. These religious barbarians live amongst us. How can we be safe with such blatant barbarians who would kill for their religion at the slightest provocation? More and more, this religion thing defies logic
How can we claim to be civilised or have any shred of humanity if we condone the behaviour or free movement of those fanatics?
I will just close my eyes for a minute and imagine a world without religion.