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Blasphemy: Nigerians react to death sentence on musician

… Describe it as ‘violation of human rights’

Joy Anyim 

Nigerians on twitter have described the death sentence of 22-year-old musician, Yahaya Aminu Sharif, by a Kano Upper Sharia court as ‘uncivil, barbaric and a violation’ of human rights.

According to them, if the country has chosen to forgive the said repentant Boko Haram members and have taken a step further to reintegrate them into the society, Sharif should be forgiven.

Sharif had allegedly committed blasphemy against Prophet Muhammad in a song circulated via WhatsApp, in March 2020.

Protesters had bunrt down the singer’s family house and urged the Kano Hisbah Command Headquarters that he be prosecuted.

Reacting to the sentence, Convener of #EndSARS, Segun Awosanya had, in a trend on Twitter, warned that if anything happens to Sharif, it would be the end the nation’s union.

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 Awosanya in his twitter handle @segalink said:,“ Our society is no doubt a dying one. We are at our lowest ebb. Imagine living in a country where murderous BokoHaram are deemed repentant & granted amnesty while people expressing their constitutionally protected rights to freedom are persecuted & sentence to death for blasphemy!

“If anything happens to that citizen that will be the end of our union in this country. We will not be associated with any state or admin that allows this level of barbarism to persist.

“The same state where children from Mali, Niger et al vote illegally in our elections?

“A state that allegedly produced the richest man in Africa yet failed to demonstrate civility in any regard.

“The world is watching what happens next. This might just be the last straw that will break the proverbial camel’s back. Go ahead and execute him while shielding bandits.”

Waleeposh @waleeposh maintained there is no punishment in Islam for blasphemy.  We said no such punishment is prescribed in the Holy Quran, or in any of the traditions of the Prophet Muhammad(sa).

“Islam promotes the need for respect of all religions for the sake of peace in society, but it does not set out any, 

“Punishment for blasphemy despite the offence it may cause people of faith. We have evidence in the traditions of the Holy Prophet(sa) where Abdullah bin Ubayyee (Chief of the hypocrites) continuously abused the Prophet(sa), and opposed him severely in Madinah, ” he wrote.

Questioning whether Nigeria is an Islamic state, Johnson, @joraam573,  wrote: “ I don’t know if Nigeria is an Islamic state or a secular state.

“How do you have ‘sharia law’ & ‘freedom of worship and belief’ in the same Constitution?” Dual ideology. It will never be well with Frederick Lugard wherever he is.”

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Olayinka Zakariyya Balogun, @Bzakariyya2, also questioned why same court could not prosecute corrupt politicians.

He wrote, “ The same court doesn’t have the power to sentence corrupt politicians making lives miserable for the citizenry, always looking for vulnerable citizens to use as scapegoat. We go get sense by force one day!!”

In his tweet, RT Swaggz, @ Rotimih, maintained Nigeria is secular state. “ Section 10 of the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria (As Amended) is very clear that “No State or Federal Government SHALL adopt any religion as its own”. Nigeria is a Secular State with no “adopted” religion. The whole trial and sentence was deliberate to try Nigerians on Islamization, ” he wrote.

Henry David, @HENRYDAVID283, stated that the sentence contravenes the freedom of expression citizens are expected to enjoy in the country.

He wrote, “ I just think this is the height of it where freedom of expression is now termed as blasphemy and there by requires execution I guess Sharia law is highest form of our law system in Nigeria if this guy is beheaded then I believe that our Government is saying that Nigeria is a Sharia State. ”