Christian Entity Condemns “horrific murder” of Nigerian Butcher, Release of Suspects

Credit: CSW

Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) has condemned the “horrific murder” of a butcher in Nigeria accused of committing blasphemy and the release of the suspected killers of Ms. Deborah Yakubu, the student who was stoned to death last year. 

Usman Buda was reportedly killed by a mob that included minors allegedly for blaspheming Prophet Muhammad during an argument with another butcher at the slaughterhouse in Sokoto, Northwestern Nigeria, on the morning of June 25.

“CSW condemns this horrific murder in the strongest terms, and we extend our deepest condolences to the family and friends of Mr. Buda,” CSW Founder President, Mervyn Thomas, says in a Wednesday, June 28 report

Mr. Thomas also expresses surprise over Chief Magistrate Shuaibu Ahmad’s decision to free Ms. Yakubu’s (also called Emmanuel) suspected killers on grounds that the prosecution continually failed to attend scheduled court hearings in January.

“We are also appalled to learn of the release of the men detained in connection with the murder of Ms. Emmanuel,” the CSW official says. 


He adds that Nigeria’s federal and state authorities need “to combat the impunity currently enjoyed by those who weaponize blasphemy allegations by tracing the instigators of, and key participants in the murders Mr. Buda and Ms. Emmanuel, and prosecuting them for murder and incitement.”

The official of the UK-based Christian human rights entity says that the West African nation needs to do away with blasphemy law. 

In the June 28 report, Mr. Thomas says repealing the blasphemy law is necessary as the legislation is “incompatible with the country’s constitutional and international obligation (and) it also fuels the kind of religious extremism that leads to gruesome murders of innocent individuals following malicious accusations.”

He further says, “Nigeria must also address as a matter of urgency the anomaly whereby the penal code punishes blasphemy with a prison term, while Sharia Courts in northern Nigeria impose excessive sentences.” 

Section 204 of the Nigeria Criminal Code Act categorizes blasphemy as a misdemeanor and recommends a two-year sentence for those found guilty while it is a major crime punishable by death in Sharia Law. 

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In the report, CSW officials say that the criminalization of blasphemy “not only contravenes the country’s constitution, which allows for the freedoms of thought, conscience, and expression; it is also incompatible with the nation’s international obligations with regard to the freedoms of religion or belief (FoRB), opinion and expression.”

CSW officials also say that the institution of Sharia Penal Codes in 12 northern states in 2001 “effectively made Islam into a state religion, in a further violation of Nigeria’s secular constitution, which grants Sharia Courts jurisdiction over non-criminal proceedings.”

Meanwhile, the leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has also condemned the murder of Mr. Buda.

In a statement published Thursday, June 29, CAN says, “This tragic incident underscores the urgent need for increased efforts to foster religious tolerance, peace, and unity in our diverse society.”

“CAN will continue to advocate for the protection of all citizens’ rights, regardless of their religious affiliations. We urge religious leaders and followers to promote interfaith dialogue and peaceful coexistence for a harmonious Nigeria,” the statement signed by CAN President, Archbishop Daniel Okoh, further reads.


Magdalene Kahiu is a Kenyan journalist with passion in Church communication. She holds a Degree in Social Communications from the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA). Currently, she works as a journalist for ACI Africa.