One Emmanuel Emeka was nearly [neutralized] by Hausa youths in the Ketu area of Lagos State last Sunday.
His crime? He wrote a column on a weekly magazine which some irate Northern Muslim youths judged as blasphemous.
A mob of Hausa/Fulani youths beat him and was about to turn him to human torch, but for the intervention of the Police.
He was rescued and put in protective custody.
According to Police Public Relations Officer, Dolapo Badmos, “The Lagos State Police Command averted what could have been a religious crisis between Igbo and Hausa Muslim communities.
“At about 9.05pm, the Ketu division received a distress call that a boy was about to be [neutralized] by some Hausa youths.
“The boy was rescued and kept in protective custody.
“His chemist shop was secured from destruction.
“Everywhere is calm as the police have intensified patrol in the area after successfully calming frayed nerves.
The incident spells greater danger, especially in this season of blasphemous lynching in the North.
In the Zamfara case, the allegation made by students was that during an argument, one pf the parties blasphemed Islam.
Violence erupted as the said student was beaten to pulp.
The youths proceeded to the house of a man who purportedly came to the students rescue and [neutralized] eight persons in one fell swoop.
The police is still investigating the incident.
The list of victims of the so-called blasphemy attacks is long, dismal and growing.
Blasphemies related attacks has until this time been confined to the north. But it is spreading southwards.
If that unsavory pattern of violence is not curbed, no one can predict when it would lead to a conflagration.
This is why the government must take the matter more seriously than it has by implementing proactive measures.
The Ketu case is particularly worrisome based on the realization that blasphemy violence is steadily migrating to the south.
Those who make serial allegations of blasphemy often point to their victim’s religious insensitivity.
It does not occur to them that they are also guilty of cultural insensitivity.
Insensitivity to both cultural and religious feelings is to be deplored.
If common sense will not compel Nigerians to live in peace with one another, then the law must step in firmly to perform that obligation.