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Kano Hisbah not religious-based outfit – Shekarau

Former Kano State Governor, Ibrahim Shekarau, has said that the Kano community policing guards known as Hisbah are not a religious-based institution.  The former senator…

Former Kano State Governor, Ibrahim Shekarau, has said that the Kano community policing guards known as Hisbah are not a religious-based institution. 

The former senator stated this while backing the federal and state governments’ recent move to establish state police across the federation.

He called for the establishment of what he described as federally-coordinated community policing nationwide to tackle insecurity, saying that the establishment of Hisbah had been successful in Kano that even non-Muslims are happy with the outfit.

Due to the rise in insecurity reported across the country, the federal government on Thursday said it was contemplating the establishment of state police.

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Addressing State House correspondents after an emergency meeting between President Bola Tinubu and state governors at the Aso Rock Villa, the Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, explained that the process was still in its infancy and would only take shape after more deliberations between stakeholders.

Shekarau, who spoke on Channels TV’s Politics Today, lauded the move.

He emphasised the importance of community policing being community-owned, noting that the government would only be coordinating.

He said, “If you take the legislation we did in Kano, the first statement is that the Hisbah guards are to assist the Nigerian armed forces in the maintenance of law and order. That’s exactly what they are doing. And gradually people owned them up by realizing that it was not a political structure, that it was not a collection of party thugs that could be used.

“The fear of most of our political leaders in the past in arguing against state policing is that they could be used during elections to terrorize people, that if you get a governor that is crazy, he would use it to threaten opponents.

“But we spent a whole year after establishing Hisbah guards training them at different levels, from the highest level downward. In fact, in Kano, you will be surprised that people are more comfortable taking their cases to Hisbah offices – including non-Muslims.

“People had thought Hisbah was a religious-based institution, that it would terrorize, it would deny people their rights and so on, and we argued with the Obasanjo government and we defeated them up to the Supreme Court.

“What we need to understand is that it doesn’t matter what name you call your community policing guards. The issue is that we want to insist on the right conduct and ethics whether it’s Christians or Muslims.

“Come to Kano and ask our Christian brothers; they are happy with Hisbah guards. So it’s not purely about shariah implementation. It’s about what’s right and what’s wrong and ensuring peace in the communities.”

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