Nigerian Leader Condemns Killing of Pastor’s Wife on ‘Blasphemy’

  • Woman killed by mob after religious argument in market
  • Army warns of attacks during month of Ramadan next week

Nigeria President Muhammadu Buhari, seeking to avoid religious violence, condemned the killing of a Christian pastor’s wife in the Muslim-dominant northern city of Kano.

The 45-year-old Igbo market woman was killed by a mob on Thursday after an argument in which she was accused of blasphemy against Prophet Muhammad, the Punch newspaper reported, citing witnesses. 

Buhari said developments leading to the death of Bridget Agbahime are "sad and regrettable," according to a statement e-mailed by his Abuja-based spokesman, Femi Adesina. He said justice would be done and urged people not to use the incident “to fan the embers of religious or ethnic hatred.”

Africa’s most populous nation with 180 million people is divided into a largely Christian south and Muslim-dominant north. Boko Haram, a jihadist group that mainly operated from the northeast of the country, has been fighting the Nigerian government for seven years to install its version of Sharia law.

The Nigerian army in a separate e-mail said it has intelligence that some militants are planning to stage attacks on places of worship during the month of Ramadan that starts Sunday. Efforts are being made to eliminate the threat, said Rabe Abubakar, an army spokesman.