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HURIWA Warns Against Demonizing Beer Drinkers

By Emmanuel Onwubiko
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A development inclined Non-Governmental group-HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) has raised alarm that policies of some state governments demonizing beer consumption have created the motivations for terror attacks against targeted civilians.

The Rights group has also frowned at unconstitutional decisions of Kano and Sokoto State governments to introduce Islamic religious policing institutions (Hizbah) in contravention of sections 10 and 214(1) of the constitution of Nigeria of 1999 (as amended).

Against the backdrop of the bloody terrorists attack in the largely Christians dominated quarters in Kano city (Sabon gari) in a bomb attack which resulted in the killing of scores of persons in an area with high presence of beer parlors, the group said certain selective decisions and policies of Kano State government provide fertile grounds for targeted terrorists attacks. The group however does not blame the Kano state government for the weekend attack.

The group therefore expressed shock and consternation that the federal government has all these while watched helplessly as some Northern state governments violate sacred provisions of the constitution to serve the religious interest of sections of their populations. HURIWA has also asked that both state and federal administrations should completely separate state from religion for democracy to thrive and for societal harmony to take root.

HURIWA has also called on the members of the National Assembly to call state governments violating relevant sections of the constitution knowingly or unknowingly, to order to save Nigeria from sliding totally into anarchy and lawlessness.

In a statement to the media by the National Coordinator Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko and the National media affairs Director, Miss. Zainab Yusuf, HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS' ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) stated that in as much as it does not believe that the Kano State government was responsible directly for the targeted attacks by Boko Haram against beer drinkers, the anti-beer policy of the state government fuels hatred towards those who consume beer and alcoholic beverages thereby exposing residents of Sabon Gari, in Kano State to possibilities of attacks.

HURIWA has also advised against the recent passage by the Sokoto State House of Assembly of a law establishing Islamic religious police similar to what obtains in Kano State.

The Rights group stated thus; “we hereby urge Kano and Sokoto state governments to discontinue the implementation of policies that seek to demonize beer drinkers in their states because doing so provides the enabling environment for armed religious extremists to vent their anger against innocent civilians just for drinking their choice beer beverages and incidentally these states share from proceeds emanating from federally collected taxation from beer companies”.

Citing Section 10 of the Nigerian constitution which is against institutionalizing a state religion, HURIWA further cited section 214(1) of the constitution which unambiguously prohibits formation of any other police force other than the Nigerian Police Force.