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Nigerian Muslim extremists declare death sentence on Christian lady over alleged blasphemy

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Barely one week after a group of Muslim extremists in the Nigerian Northern state of Sokoto lynched a 200-level female Christian student of the Shehu Shagari College of Education, Deborah Samuel, by beating her to death and setting her corpse on fire within the school premises for allegedly insulting Prophet Muhammad in a WhatsApp voicenote, another group of extremists have declared a death sentence on a Christian lady, Naomi Goni.

The death threat is coming from a group in Borno State, another predominantly Muslim state in Northern Nigeria, following another allegation of blasphemy and insulting comments on the Islamic Prophet on Facebook.

The fundamentalist group, which has vowed to kill Goni if the state government led by Professor Babagana Zulum refuses to take a decisive action, said they will “never sleep” until “immediate action is taken” or they will take the laws into their hands.

In a Facebook post on Monday by the leader of the group, Tanko Izge, the group was emphatic on the government taking action in punishing the alleged culprit as, according to him, the “punishment for blasphemy against Prophet Muhammad was death” and as such, the lady must die.

Izge who wrote in the Hausa language said:

“A message to Government of Borno State. Akwai wata yarinya me suna Naomi Goni wanda tayi batanci ga manzo Allah wanda hakan a musulunci kisa ne hukunci Ko da soho ne koda musulmi ne ya kafurta.

“Dan haka muna kira ga gwamnatin Borno tayi gaggawan daukan mataki inhar ba haka ba kuma mu musulmai baza muyi bacci ba kuma zamu dauka da kanmu.”

His message, when translated to English language reads:

“There is a girl named Naomi Goni who insulted the Messenger of Allah (SAW) and in Islam it is a death sentence even if it is a Muslim.

“We therefore call on the Borno State Government to take immediate action or else we Muslims will not sleep and we will take action.”

However, the lady in the center of the controversy has rebutted the allegations, denying making the said insulting post.

According to her, her social media account had been hacked by unknown persons who may have posted the offensive content which has now put her in trouble.

The Borno State police spokesman, ASP Sani Kamilu, who confirmed the death threats, in a statement, said the force had swiftly taken Goni into protective custody, while promising to do everything possible to protect her.

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Nigeria: Zamfara state government wants gun licenses for residents over insecurity

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The Commissioner for information in one of Nigeria’s Northern states, Zamfara state says residents in the state can start approaching the police command in the state for gun licences.

The troubled state wants individuals to carry guns to defend themselves against armed gangs of kidnappers causing havoc in the country’s northwest.

The commissioner, Ibrahim Magaji Dosara in statement said the state governor had directed the state police commissioner to issue 500 gun licences in each of the 19 emirates in the state to those wishing to defend themselves.

“Government is ready to facilitate people, especially our farmers to secure basic weapons for defending themselves,” Dosara said.

The state also banned the use of motorcyles and selling of petrol in three districts and one emirate, in areas which are the most affected by banditry, Dosara said. The state is divided into emirates and the emirates into districts.

“Anybody found riding motorbike within the areas is considered as bandits and security agencies are thereby directed to shoot such persons at sight,” said Dosara.

Gunmen, locally called bandits, have been attacking and killing thousands of people in the country’s North-west since 2017. These assailants have attacked rural dwellers, destroyed their farmlands and in many cases only allow them to the farm after they have paid protection fees. They have also targeted travellers across the region in what some analysts say is one of the most lucrative kidnap-for-ransom syndicates in the continent.

Owning a gun in Zamfara needs permission from the state governor and state police commissioner.

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Ex-Liberian rebel warlord charged in US over attempt to obtain citizenship fraudulently

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A former commanding general of the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL), a notorious rebel group during the West African country’s civil war, Moses Wright, who had sought asylum in the US has been charged with fraudulently attempting to obtain US citizenship, among other crimes.

According to the United States Justice Department, the 69-year-old Wright lied about his involvement in the persecuting and killing of non-combatants during the war when he applied for US citizenship.

If convicted, Wright faces a maximum possible sentence of 165 years in prison and a $7m (£5.7m) fine, according to the JD.

“The United States will not be a safe haven for human rights violators and war criminals,” the United States Attorney, Jacqueline C. Romero, said on the indictment of Wright.

The indictment of Wright comes after two other former combatants in Liberia’s civil war, Mohammed Jabbateh and Thomas Woewiyu, were convicted in the US for similar offences while a third rebel leader, Sekou Kamara, was arrested earlier this year in New York.

The AFL was responsible for death of an estimated 250,000 Liberians which amounted to around 8% of the population at the time, in the war which started from 1989 to 1997 and in 1999 to 2003, according to a report by the Liberia’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission in late 2021, which described the AFL as a “significant violator group found to be behind some of the civil war’s largest scale massacres.”

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