Hisbah official arrested for condemning arrest of LGBTQ members in Kano

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A staff of the Kano State Hisbah Board, Idris Ahmed Gama, has been arrested for condemning the arrest of some members of a Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer organisation.

The Commander General of the Board, Sheikh Aminu Daurawa, disclosed this while briefing newsmen in Kano on Monday, July 8, 2024.

He said the state government has already banned any group or association that promotes LGBTQ.

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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 distanced itself from any agreement or association contravening the Sharia and Nigerian laws prohibiting same-sex marriage.

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

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

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He denied being a member of any group or association advocating LGBTQ rights, and 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.

According to PUNCH, a source said that the WISE head office in Kano has already been closed while the staff were nowhere to be found.

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.

The Kano State government through the commissioner for information, Baba Halilu Dantiye on Monday ordered a crackdown on all groups promoting LGBTQ in the state.

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According to the commissioner, the activities of a 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.

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WISE’s background information on the website https://outofthemargins.org.uk/about/ did not hide its advocacy for LGBTQ rights. Its aims and objectives were listed thus:

Formerly known as Women Action for Gender Equality; the name changed to Women Initiative for Sustainable Empowerment and Equality.

WISE is the first non-profit organisation to identify as LBQ+ operating in the core northern region of Nigeria. This region is made up of 19 states. It is a region that is highly radicalised with Shariah as one of the operating legal systems.

Under this system, a lesbian or bisexual woman may face caning or stoning to death for engaging in same-sex consenting relationships.

WISE is aware of the security risks and challenges that they face but is determined to provide leadership for the community and empower them to take up leadership roles through the various programs they implement.

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