Some students of Shehu Shagari College of Education, Sokoto, on Thursday, lynched a female student, identified simply as Deborah, over an allegation of blasphemy against Muhammed, a prophet of Islam.
The deceased was violently stoned to death and later set ablaze by the angry mob, who are mostly students of the college.
The college authorities immediately announced the closure of the school and ordered students to vacate the campus.
The deceased was seen in a video that has gone viral on social media being violently attacked until she collapsed and was set ablaze.
She was said to have made “derogatory comments” against the prophet on a WhatsApp platform.
How it happened
A student of the college identified only by her first name, Jamila, narrated to PREMIUM TIMES how the incident started on Wednesday.
She said it all started when someone sent a broadcast message to a WhatsApp group of the students, to which Deborah,the murdered student, belonged.
“It was that kind of message that will ask you to share with other groups if you don’t want evil to befall you,” said Jamila.
But the now deceased Deborah complained that such messages should not be sent to a WhatsApp group created for the sharing of important information about tests and assignments.
“Send us important information. This group was not created for you to send useless information. It was created for you to send past questions if there is a test or an assignment. It is not for you to send useless information. Which prophet?”, the late Deborah was quoted to have stated this in a voice note she shared to the WhatsApp group.
Jamila said although she later deleted the voice note, other members of the group had shared it among their friends in the school. It eventually sparked tension among the students on the campus.
PREMIUM TIMES learnt that when the students tried to mob Deborah, the school’s security men came to her rescue. They informed the police when the situation started to get out of hand.
But a resident of Bado, the host community of the college, Ibrahim, said the police couldn’t rescue Deborah as the mob kept hurling stones and objects at the police and the shelter where she was kept.