Blasphemy: Security operatives, religious leaders meet in Borno


The Borno State Police Command has called on religious stakeholders to avoid anything that would disturb the current peace being enjoyed, especially in Maiduguri, the state capital.

The state Commissioner of Police, Abdu Umar, who addressed key stakeholders on Saturday, said that Borno cannot afford to be complicit with the obvious tension generated last week in which a student was lynched by fellow students for alleged blasphemy in Sokoto State.

Having seen the rising tension created by the lynching of Deborah Samuel for alleged blasphemy, the Command, engaged critical stakeholders in a peace-building dialogue to forestall any unrest.

Addressing the stakeholders, Umar said that intelligence report indicated that certain elements were already gearing up for a showdown in the city in reaction to the Sokoto incident but that police personnel, along with other security agencies like the Nigerian Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC), Department of the State Security Services ( DSS) and the military, deployed to maintain decorum were already nipping it in the bud.

He said that the meeting with critical stakeholders and religious leaders in the state followed after meeting with the Deputy Governor, Umar Kadafur, who directed him to call on leaders of the two major religions to maintain a truce.

He directed religious leaders to speak with their followers on the need to maintain peace and safety in the midst of security challenges confronting Sokoto and threats of retaliation in some states.

Commissioner Abdu reiterated that in the past 12 years, Borno State had suffered a lot of security challenges, adding that they can’t afford an addition

He said that they have not only engaged the religious leaders, the police and other security agencies, since the unrest started in Sokoto, but have deployed personnel across the state capital and also stepped up surveillance accordingly.

Abdu stressed that in the case of any eventuality, they are also going to embark on a show of force from today, Sunday to alert residents that the security agents are on red alert, and battle-ready to pounce on anybody that will want to attempt to disturb public peace across Borno State.

Responding, the Christian Association of Nigeria CAN Chairman Borno State chapter, Bishop Mohammed Naga, assured that Christian leaders in the state have captioned their members to exercise patience and not take any laws into their hands.

Naga said letters were already sent to all the pastors across the state telling them to inform their members that they don’t want any reaction from them and they should go about their normal activities without any fear of attack.

Sheikh Muhammad Abulfathi, who spoke on behalf of the Chief Imam Laisu Ahmad, charged Borno residents to desist from the temptation of commenting on religious posts on social media as those comments are the root causes of the crises which could be inciting and harmful to others leading to violent reactions among the public.

Those who attended the meeting included the representatives of the Nigerian Army, DSS, NSCDC, Borno State Government, Christian and Muslim religious leaders.

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