22nd November, 2012
But for the timely intervention of security forces, the bubbling community of Bichi in Kano, northwest Nigeria would have been destroyed by angry protesters who were condemning what they described as blasphemous reference to Prophet Mohammed.
P.M.NEWS reliably gathered that trouble started when a tailor joked with his neighbor over a cloth he sew, using an adage that was perceived to debase the person, integrity and divinity of Prophet Mohammed.
The unidentified tailor, P.M.NEWS learnt, brought out a newly sown cloth and told his neighbor that this is, “Annabi Ya Shiga Kasuwa (meaning, the Prophet has entered market).
The expression angered some youths around who mobilized and took to the streets.
It was learnt that during the protest, churches, shops, business centres and residential homes were burnt by the protesters who also staged bonfires on the roads to demonstrate their anger.
Unspecified numbers of people were severely wounded and have been taken to a specialist hospital within Kano city for treatment. The AFP reported that four Igbo residents were killed. There was no official confirmation of this report.
A resident of Bichi who spoke to our Correspondent on phone said non-natives and non-Muslims were running for safety, “I saw people running towards the College of Education and police stations to take refuge while the protesters were on rampage.
“I cannot confirm if any life was lost yet, but I can see security personnel both the police, army and the JTF driving away the protesters. I can say that normalcy is gradually returning, but non-Muslims and non-natives are fleeing the area for fear of the unknown,” said the caller who pleaded for anonymity.
The state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Ibrahim K. Idris confirmed the incident, adding that his men and other security agencies had cordoned off the area.
He urged residents to remain calm and law-abiding, pointing out that enough security arrangement has been put in place to control the situation.