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Nigeria Muslim Militants “Kidnap” Christian Student

Wednesday, 15 February 2006

By BosNewsLife News Center

Christians have fled areas in Nigeria because of violence against them. ABUJA , NIGERIA (BosNewsLife)– There was concern Wednesday, February 15, over the whereabouts of a Christian student in Nigeria , after she was accused by Muslim militants of blasphemy against the Prophet Mahammed.

The School of Nursing and Midwifery in Sokoto, the capital of northern Nigeria ’s Sokoto State , has been closed amid fears Ladi Mohammed was kidnapped Friday, February 10.

“The militants…threatened to cut off her head, hunted and kidnapped her after she had fled from the school,” Compass Direct news agency quoted John Usman, a Christian student at the institution as saying.

However Sokoto’s Commissioner of Health, Alhaji Abubakar Zaki Amale, told journalists that the school was closed down “due to misunderstanding between two female students,” reported Nigeria ‘s Daily Independent newspaper.

“WHISHED AWAY”

He said the student “that caused the problem” was “whisked away from the school premises to save her from being lynched.” Militant Muslim students in the school had reportedly circulated a pamphlet claiming Mohammed had made a “misguided and derogatory statement against Islam.”

A Christian from the Zuru ethnic group of the state of Kebbi, Mohammed injured the feelings of the Muslims, the students claimed. School authorities did not say, however, what she uttered to elicit such a harsh reaction from the Muslim students and institutional authorities, Compass Direct reported.

Christian students are apparently living in fear of being attacked by the militant Muslim students. Alhaji Sa’idu Gaya, state commissioner of police, said the police command had drafted men to provide security at the school. Gaya said the school was closed to avert potential religious conflict.

KIDNAPPING LIKELY

When asked if Mohammed was with the police, the police commissioner said, “She is not with us,” confirming fears among Christians at the school that she was kidnapped.

Her Christian colleagues at the school were quoted as saying her parents have been searching for her without success. Sokoto state is one of the 12 northern Nigeria states implementing the Islamic law, Sharia.

The policy allegedly led to an increase in Islamic fundamentalism. With an estimated population of 4.2 million, Sokoto state has witnessed religious conflicts that have resulted in the destruction of churches and the killing of Christians, human rights watchers say. Most of the state’s Muslim population is Sunni, with a Shia a minority. (With BosNewsLife Research and reports from Nigeria ).