Deborah: Angry Muslims Burn Three Churches Including Bishop Kukah’s Catholic Headquarters in Sokoto

Deborah: Angry Muslims Burn Three Churches Including Bishop Kukah’s Catholic Headquarters in Sokoto

Angry Muslim protesters have burn three churches including the Sokoto Diocese of the Catholic Church headed by Bishop Matthew Kukah.

The protesters were demanding the release of two suspects arrested over the killing of a Christian student, Deborah Samuel, for alleged blasphemy.

According to Premium Times, a prominent Catholic cleric, Hassan Kukah, whose church was allegedly burnt, said that the news of the attack on his church had been exaggerated.

At Holy Fatima Catholic church on Ahmadu Bello way, the youth smashed windows and doors while a vehicle belonging to the community parked inside the church was also vandalised.

At the St Kelvin Catholic church in Gidan Dare area, the protesters destroyed some materials in the church and vandalised shops around the church.

A resident of the area, Ishaq Abdullahi, told PREMIUM TIMES that the church “was saved by security agents.”

“Some of the youths were there, I could see them from our office. They went into the church and started vandalizing things and nearly set it ablaze because they had burning tyres outside the church on the road but soldiers and mobile policemen stopped them,” he said.

St Bakhita, which serves as the secretariat of the diocese, was also set alight amid demonstrations for the release of Deborah Samuel’s murder suspects.

The videos geolocated by Peoples Gazette showed that the church along Aliyu Jodi Road was the same building claimed to have been burnt by rampaging thugs.

The police fired teargas to disperse protesters from breaking into the church earlier in the day, but the attackers regrouped after the police vans left the neighbourhood, witnesses said.

It was unclear if the church was targeted for arson because of Mr Kukah’s statement condemning Ms Samuel’s gruesome murder or if it was a random hit by the thugs.

When contacted by The Gazette, Mr Kukah said he was on his way out of Sokoto. The windy background on the bishop’s end of the call confirmed he was indeed on the move.

The Gazette could not independently verify if the respected religious leader was being smuggled out of the state for his safety at the time of filing this report.


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