Kano (Nigeria) (AFP) – Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari on Saturday strongly condemned the mob killing of a Christian woman trader in the country’s Muslim-dominated north and pleaded for more religious tolerance.
Bridget Abahime, 74, an ethnic Igbo trader and wife of a pastor, was “mobbed and extra-judicially murdered” on Thursday at a market in Kano, Nigeria’s largest northern city, police said.
Two key suspects have been arrested, according to Nigeria’s police chief Solomon Arase.
Buhari in a statement called the killing “utterly condemnable”.
He vowed that the perpetrators would be brought to justice and urged people not to take matters into their own hands.
“Let us ensure that we keep the peace, as justice will be done,” he said.
“Let us learn to respect each other’s faith, so that we can know each other and live together in peace.”
Kano state governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje and prominent community and religious leaders on Friday held a meeting over the incident and issued a joint statement condemning the killing.
Kano city has been blighted by religious violence in the past.
In one notorious case in 1996 an Igbo Christian trader, Gideon Akaluka, was beheaded by suspected Muslims youths who accused him of desecrating the Koran. His severed head was then hoisted on a spike and paraded around the city.