Religious Tolerance


religious tolerance

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.


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  1. wow…will these ppl ever be held accountable or can they really get away with such insanity. I guess this is where a lot of my disillusionment comes from; where do you start from in a society where people have the guts to commit such senseless crime and don’t face severe consequences.

  2. I read this in the Punch last week.. I no fit talk abeg… the painful thing is that the perpetrators of the crime would go scot free, believe me…. Her mum said she was the one taking care of herself and her siblings with her meager salary… it was so devastating…May God give the family of Tosin the fortitude to bear the loss and the grace to forgive, hard as it is cos vengeance is the Lords…

  3. I read this, It is too sad. I have no idea why human beings can be so horrible! Especially school children! There is no excuse for this kind of shit, this is a crime and should be dealt as one. Everybody should forget Islam, Christianity, this was a vicious crime.

  4. Oh my God… what kind of madness is this??!! It is terrifying to think that they could have done this to her. And like others have said, the worst part is that nothing will be done to the boys who did this! Why do people use religion as an excuse to commit heinous crimes? God help us. I pray that God takes care of her kids… this just makes me wanna wail!!

  5. This is a warning to those of us that live in Diaspora longing to return to our motherland. Forget the racism whereever you are in ‘Obodo oyinbo’… this is the real thing! Black man against black man, if it is not because of religion, it will be on the basis of what part of the country you are from, or wealth or education or whatever their craziness can come up with. Terrible!

  6. i have to say i am very happy that i am a christian. I don’t have anyting against muslims (i have loads of them as freinds) but y are they so violent? Those kids knew that they could get away with doing such a thing because so many people have gotten away with things like that claiming that Allah has been disrespected. Y did they burn her body? I was so sad when i read she left 3 little children. God will definetly punish those boys for leaving the father wifeless and the children motherless. The other day, i read in the papers that of i think Djbouti (im not sure but one of those african moslem countries) was saying that whoever said that chrsitianity is the right religion is wrong that islam is the only religion that can lead you to heaven. Imagine if the pope said something like this. The islamists would take this as a reason to kill christians. This is an issue that the islamic world have to deal with

  7. Nanya and omara@ I know its stories like this that make u guys in diaspora swear never to come home. Its just too sad and like nyemoni and daddys girl said the people are just going to get away with it.
    @ Nyemoni and waffarian- my sisters I tire oh. I pray the perpetrators are dealt with. They say after pressure from CAN (why must there be pressure) they arrestes 12 students. but sadly they may all go scot free-I hope not.

    And like @lady A said these are indeed the end times.
    @ chidi..nne like waffi said its not kust about religion its just about general lawlessness and violence in this country sometimes. God bless

  8. Chukwu nara ekwensu ike! If kids that age can be so evil, so vile, is it any surprise that they turn into horrible, terrible adults?

    God rest her soul. People commit all kinds of uchu in the name of religion.

  9. Chioma hi, I stopped by to say thank you for your comment on my blog, I didn’t know that your lastest post was a sad one.

    It is sad in so many ways. Firstly the fact that a life was lost in such a senseless way – the children have no mother and the husband no wife. Secondly it is so senseless because true Muslims will tell you that Islam is really a very gentle and giving faith. I grew up in an Islamic family back home in Nigeria. It is this minority of people that are giving Islam a really bad name, I say minority because if you really look at the global statistics majority of the Muslims are not violent, it is this minority spread all over the world that make the loudest noise with their actions and that is what sticks in peoples minds. And Yes I am a Nigerian over here in ‘Jandon’ missing home like mad, and all the good things that are back home, and God willing one day I will be back home to a peaceful nation….Amen

  10. idemilli: nne biko ka Chukwu nara ekwensu ike.amen..its just sad that teens can be so evil.
    roz: thanks for coming by..sorry you were welcomed with such a sad post.. u r perfectly right ..i have muslim relatives and friends and i know the majority aint violent..its unfortunate that some of them perptrate evil under the veil of their religion.. I pray taht you guys in diaspy will be able to come home without any fear.Naija aint that bad..oh i have quite a few friends who have moved back and they r doing well.
    msmt@i hope u make it home.

  11. I have muslim friends and I know for fact that those that live according to the tenets of Islam are peace loving, humble, introspective people.
    These ones that keep claiming that they are commiting atrocities in the name of Islam will get their just desserts when they pass over to the other side.

  12. I was in a shock in a Canadian Baptist Church when I flip through the pages of the Church bulletin. It was Nigeria again,I read through the story and I was shocked. How could an innocent teacher trying to make the life of the kids better be mobbed,killed and set ablazed. No one was put to justice at the end of the day. What are those kids going to become later in life? Maybe Assasins or Armed robbers.

    I dont think these ruthless Northerners are going to change. I lived in Gombe for One year for my NYSC and it was always scary each day. bad incidents like these are common. I will use this medium advice to any Corper posted to that state to learn from this and preserve their lives . You dont need to waste your precious life on these people that are not ready make make sense of their lifes.

    So what story will be told of Gombe state to the young child of the deceased. Will he ever love these ruthless clan in The country.
    Nigeria is not one .Lord Luggard has made us to be fooling ourselves for about 100 years. I hope we will break up one day and everyone will find their ways.

  13. The news of Toyin’s death really hit me..we did NYSC together in 2002 and she was the “Aunty” (like vice president of the ladies arm) of my set in NCCF (Nigerian Christian Corper Fellowship). I thank God for her life becase she was dedicated to the work of God and I believe she is in heaven now. May God deliver us from all these killings and madness.

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