“Kano Hisbah Staff Arrested Over Criticism of LGBTQ Arrests, Organization Closure Follows Government Crackdown”

Kano Hisbah Staff Arrested for Criticizing LGBTQ Arrests

In a recent development in Kano State, a staff member of the Kano State Hisbah Board, Idris Ahmed Gama, has been apprehended following his condemnation of the arrest of some individuals associated with a Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) organization. The Commander General of the Hisbah Board, Sheikh Aminu Daurawa, confirmed this during a press briefing in Kano on Monday.

Sheikh Aminu Daurawa emphasized that the Kano State government has unequivocally prohibited any group or association that advocates for LGBTQ rights. He stated that the Hisbah agency has taken action against numerous groups purportedly promoting LGBTQ agendas under the guise of empowerment.

Gama, the detained Hisbah staff, explained that he had attended a workshop on women’s empowerment after receiving a WhatsApp invitation from a group called Women Initiative for Sustainable Empowerment and Equality (WISE). During the workshop, Gama expressed concerns about the human rights implications of the arrests of LGBTQ members by the police, which he viewed as violations of their rights.

Denying any affiliation with LGBTQ advocacy groups, Gama pleaded for leniency and pledged not to associate with WISE in the future. Meanwhile, reports indicate that the WISE head office in Kano has been shut down, and its staff members are reportedly unavailable.

The crackdown on groups perceived to promote LGBTQ rights in Kano follows strict laws in Nigeria, including the Same-Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Act 2013, which criminalizes same-sex marriages and related activities. Kano State, governed by Sharia law, imposes severe penalties for same-sex relationships, including caning or stoning to death in certain cases.

The Kano State government, through Commissioner for Information Baba Halilu Dantiye, has issued directives to intensify efforts against organizations promoting LGBTQ activities, citing these actions as contrary to the state’s moral and legal standards under Sharia law.

This incident underscores ongoing societal and legal tensions regarding LGBTQ rights advocacy in Nigeria, particularly in regions governed by strict religious and cultural norms.

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