Listen to music while browsing

Islamic police in Nigeria's Kano launch immorality crackdown


KANO (Nigeria) (AFP) - Police who enforce Islamic law in Nigeria's northern city of Kano have arrested 150 people in the last week, including for indecent dress, as part of a crackdown on immorality, a spokesman said Tuesday.

Some people in Nigeria's second city have been picked up for sporting hair styles inspired by prominent international football players, said Mohammed Yusuf Yola, spokesman for Kano's sharia police, or Hisbah.

Others were thrown in jail and fined for wearing their trousers too low on their waists, mimicking a style that became prominent in the 1990s, partly through the influence of some American hip hop artists.

The arrests have followed an order by Kano state Governor Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso to cleanse the city of immoral practices and the trend is set to continue in the weeks ahead, said Hisbah Director-General Abba Sufi.

The Hisbah is a state police force funded by state government and is not part of the federal police.

"We have arrested 150 men and women in the past week, including prostitutes and their boyfriends, transvestites, alcoholics and those engaged in indecent dressing in contravention of the sharia legal code," Yola told AFP.

Religion has repeatedly been used as a political issue in Kano and the governor, seen as a moderate, has been accused by rivals of lacking commitment to sharia's guidelines.

Yola insisted the operation was launched to reverse disturbing trends in the city of some five million people and is targeting people of various faiths.

"Those arrested include Muslims and non-Muslims and we treat them equally because this is about morality," he said.

Kano, like the rest of northern Nigeria, is majority Muslim, but the city has a sizeable Christian minority.

Some of those arrested have been released after paying fines ranging from 10,000 naira ($63, 46 euros) to 15,000 naira, Yola said.

"Those who could not afford the fine are being kept in prison," he added, but he would not specify the number of people currently being held.

At the restoration of civilian rule in 1999, 12 northern states, including Kano, formally adopted sharia, but the Islamic legal system has been unevenly applied.

The Hisbah was formed in 2001, largely to enforce sharia, but the force has other duties, including some community development work and alternative dispute resolution.

The southern half of Nigeria, Africa's most populous country, is mostly Christian.

Imagination is more important than knowledge.
By: Albert Einstein

Boko Haram kills 10 civilians in Ca

A screen grab made on January 20, 2015 from a video of Nigerian Islamist extremist group Boko Haram shows the group's leader Abubakar Shekau holding a flag as he delivers a message.  By  (Boko Haram/AFP/File) Friday, April 17, 2015

Yaoundé (AFP) - Islamist fighters from Nigeria's Boko Haram group have killed at ...
read more »

Sudan's Bashir hits out at peacekee

Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir stands on a pick-up truck during a campaign rally for the upcoming presidential elections in El-Fasher, in North Darfur, on April 8, 2015.  By Ashraf Shazly (AFP) Wednesday, April 8, 2015

El Fasher (Sudan) (AFP) - Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir on Wednesday lashed ...
read more »

Nigeria's ruling party regains cont

People celebrate after some of the results in the gubernatorial and parliamentarian elections are released in Lagos, on April 11, 2015.  By Pius Utomi Ekpei (AFP) Monday, April 13, 2015

Port Harcourt (Nigeria) (AFP) - Nigeria's ruling party on Monday won back contro ...
read more »

Heavy security in Nigeria's Rivers

Police officers stand outside the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) offices in the oil hub of Port Harcourt.  By Florian Plaucheur (AFP/File) Saturday, April 11, 2015

Port Harcourt (Nigeria) (AFP) - Nigeria's oil city of Port Harcourt saw a heavy ...
read more »