Kano Hisbah arrests own staff for criticising arrest of same-sex promoters

A staff of the Kano Hisbah Board, Idris Ahmed Gama, has been arrested after he expressed an opinion in an interview that the arrest of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) members by the police amounts to a violation of human rights.

The Commander-General of the Board, Sheikh Aminu Ibrahim Daurawa, disclosed this while briefing newsmen in Kano, stating that the state government has banned any group or association that promotes LGBTQ activities.

According to him, the agency has clamped down on many groups promoting LGBTQ in the state under the guise of empowerment.

He stressed that Kano distances itself from any agreement or association that contravenes the Sharia and Nigerian laws that prohibit same-sex marriage.

Daurawa said the Kano State Hisbah Board had apprehended a staff member of the agency, Idris Ahmed Gama, whose video went viral on social media supporting a group suspected of promoting LGBTQ in the state.

The Commander-General urged the public, religious and traditional leaders, media, and all relevant stakeholders to join the fight against immorality in the state.

The apprehended staff member, Gama, explained that he was invited to a workshop via WhatsApp on women’s empowerment where a paper was presented on human rights.

He stressed that after the programme, during an interview, he mentioned the LGBTQ acronym without knowing its full meaning.

He denied being a member of any group or association advocating LGBTQ rights and stated that he was only invited to a workshop by a group named Women Initiative for Sustainable Empowerment and Equality (WISE).

“I was personally invited, and after the program, I was interviewed on how the police arrested LGBTQ members, and I said it was a violation of human rights.”

He appealed for leniency and promised not to associate with WISE in the future.

The Same-Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Act 2013 makes it illegal for same-sex individuals to marry, enter into a civil union, or gain entitlement to any benefits of a valid marriage in Nigeria.

Meanwhile, Kano State Commissioner for Information, Baba Halilu Dantiye, said on Monday that the state governor had ordered a crackdown on all groups promoting LGBTQ activities in the state.

According to the commissioner, the activities of the group Women Initiative for Sustainable Empowerment and Equality (WISE) were a complete breach of the state’s moral standards and a violation of the Shari’ah.

The commissioner said the state government would not accept any agreement promoting the activities of gays and lesbians, as it contravened the norms and values of the people of Kano.

“I spoke with the governor, and he expressed his disapproval of the said agreement, though it has not yet been confirmed. He assured me that there is no room for LGBTQ activities in Kano,” Dantiye said.

“As you know, 98 percent of people in Kano are Muslims by faith, and our religion is against this immorality, so we can’t accept it,” he added.

The commissioner said the government had received citizens’ concerns over groups promoting LGBTQ activities in the state, and the governor had ordered the Hisbah to investigate and take action against these groups.

“We also discussed this with the governor, and he directed Hisbah to investigate and crack down on them. We will take legal action as appropriate,” he said.

Dantiye also disclosed that consultations were ongoing with religious leaders on how to curb such activities in the state.

Kano Hisbah arrests own staff for criticising arrest of same-sex promoters

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