Aliyu Tilde, the commissioner for education in Bauchi, has expressed support for the violent mob of fanatics that killed Deborah Samuel.
Mr Tilde, a respected northern intellectual, said Ms Samuel’s murder was provoked and excoriated Christians and others dismissing blasphemy as uncivilised to seek a psychiatric evaluation.
“Oh my god, oh my god The mouth cuts the neck. If you’re not provoked by this, visit a psychiatrist, please,” the education commissioner said on Facebook Saturday morning. “We must teach our children to respect others.”
Mr Tilde translated what Ms Samuel wrote on WhatsApp that warranted her murder as: “This group is not made for the post of stupid things. Done for past Q, if there is a test, if given assignment, send it. Not that you will send us useless things. What is the prophet of Allah?”
A spokesman for Governor Bala Mohammed did not immediately answer enquiries about the administration’s position on Mr Tilde’s public endorsement of a Christian student’s murder.
Ms Samuel, a home economics sophomore at Shehu Shagari College of Education in Wamako, Sokoto, was burnt alive on Thursday for allegedly criticising Prophet Muhammad.
She had protested indiscriminate posting of Islamic messages on a school WhatsApp group before the mob took offence and set her up for murder, according to witnesses and the police.
As widespread outrage continues over the murder, some northern leaders have expressed approval for the mob that carried it out under the pretext of blasphemy.
President Muhammadu Buhari condemned Ms Samuel’s murder but was silent on whether or not those responsible should be brought to book.
Atiku Abubakar, a leader of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party long seen as a moderate, disowned a message of condemnation and sympathy posted on his Facebook and Twitter pages on Thursday night. He later emphasised his longstanding position against the harsh consequences of the shariah doctrine.