Blasphemy: Anxiety in Borno over planned protests 

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From Timothy Olanrewaju,Maiduguri

Fears gripped many residents of Maiduguri and some towns in Borno weekend following plans by some youths to hold protests for and against the killing of a lady in Sokoto recently over alleged blasphemy of Islam.

The Sun gathered some youths had planned to hold protest in Maiduguri on Saturday to condemn the killing of Deborah Samuel in Sokoto while some also planned a counter-protest.

Most residents feared the development could snowball into a conflict of bigger dimension in a state still battling to curtail 13 years of insurgency.

“There is actually fears in the city because of the plan to demonstrate and another plan to counter the demonstration,” a source privy to the planned protests told The Sun on condition of anonymity. Most residents would not want to comment on the issue, saying “Borno is volatile now “

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Dozens of policemen and security personnel were seen patroling the capital weekend. Some were also stationed in strategic places.

Sunday services in most church in Maiduguri were held under watch. Many rwsidents sent warning messages and security alerts on the said planned protests to their friends and loved ones on the social media weekend

Last week, a reply to a comment on the alleged Deborah’s blasphemy, on Facebook by a lady in Maiduguri, ignited the anger of some youths as someone volunteered information  about her location in the city. The security, acting on tip off quickly evacuated her and the family to a safer place.

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