Religious intolerance is something I am so not used to especially as I have experienced growing up with Muslim cousins. Growing up, we were raised to respect and love each other irrespective of religious or tribal persuasions.
That’s why I was totally shocked when I heard about the senseless killing of Mrs. Christianah Oluwatoyin Oluwaseesin by some Muslim secondary school students last week in Gombe State. Gombe was carved out of the old Borno State and it is a beautiful place.
According to the deceased’s husband Mr Micheal Oluwaseesin who was out of town when the unfortunate incident occurred. “From what I gathered (from witnesses), it was the final day of the second term examinations in the school and my wife was invigilating Islamic Religion. A student was passing an Islamic inscription (expo) to another student, she caught them, took the material from them and threw it outside and that ignited the whole thing”.
After the exam the students started chasing her, she phoned in saying there was some trouble in school. The students eventually caught her, beat her, stabbed her and burnt her to death. The murderers went on to burn her body.
What was her crime? The students say she desecrated the Holy Koran by throwing away the piece of paper with an Islamic inscription on it. According to her husband she was’t a very popular teacher because she was very upright and didn’t tolerate cheating .
I mean, how can a group of teenage boys be so inhumane? And what always peeves me is how people commit atrocities and claim to do it in the name of Islam. I have muslim relatives and friends and I know most muslims condemn such, but again and again we hear of these stories.
I think Islamic leaders have to embark on a series sensitisation against violence; they have to tell everyone that Allah does not approve of such.
From the deceased’s name she is Yoruba. I know that when something similar happened to an Igbo man some years ago, some Igbo people in the east starting killing Muslims in their midst (how sad). Mr Oluwaseesin himself confessed to looking to carry kerosene so he could have burnt the first muslim he set his eyes on. Thankfully, he was stopped by his friends. I shudder to think what would have happened if he had tried to retaliate -state wide mutiny, maybe.
Every body say a little prayer for the family of late Toyin especially the two young children- a three and one year old.