Kano (Nigeria) (AFP) – The religious police in the northern Nigerian city of Kano have destroyed almost four million beer bottles because the sale and consumption of alcohol is banned in the predominantly Muslim region.
The Sharia police called the Hisbah often destroy alcohol and confiscate drugs, but the giant beer shipment was one of the largest in a recently intensified crackdown.
Hundreds of Hisbah dumped 3,873,163 bottles of mostly beer and some various alcoholic beverages in an open area in Tudun Kalebawa village on Wednesday.
Bulldozers then rolled over the bottles to shout “Allahu Akbar” (God is Great) from the crowd, which included senior Hisbah and government officials.
The Hisbah set fire to the shattered remains and the fire continued throughout the night, according to Tudun Kalebawa residents.
“Kano is a Sharia state and the sale, consumption and possession of alcoholic substances are prohibited in this state,” Haruna Ibn Sina, the head of the Hisbah, said at the ceremony.
“This is a demonstration that we are winning the war against drug abuse and all forms of intoxicants in Kano,” he said.
The beer had been confiscated from trucks heading into the city from the mainly Christian south for several months, Hisbah spokesman Lawan Ibrahim Fagge told AFP on Thursday.
“The beer shipments were destroyed after a court order was obtained from a district court,” said Fagge.
Kano is one of a dozen mainly Muslim northern states that have reintroduced a strict version of Sharia law since Nigeria’s return in 1999 after 15 years of military dictatorship.
Sale and consumption of alcohol are prohibited, violators risk 80 lashes.
The Hisbah has recently stepped up its crackdown on the sale of drugs and alcohol in the state, which has high levels of drug abuse.
In December, Sabon Gari, a predominantly Christian neighborhood in Kanos, clashed with Hisbah police when they tried to raid area taverns and beer bars.
The mob lit bonfires in the streets and prompted regular police to restore order.
© 2022 AFP