The Kano State Hisbah Board has expressed readiness to work with the Actors’ Guild of Nigeria (AGN) to foster peace and unity among the various ethnic and religious groups in the state. Hisbah Director-General, Alhaji Abba Sa’ad Sufi, stated this while receiving AGN National Vice-President, North-West Zone, Comrade Salihu Othman Isah.
Sufi described the guild as vital to the development of culture and religion. “Hisbah is an Arabic word which means encouragment of good deeds where good deeds are being projected; and discouragment of bad deeds where bad deeds are being projected. “Hisbah has a representative at the Censorship Board and we will see to it that all your programmes and productions pass through the Censorship Board for proper scrutiny. We are not established to fight people. Our duty is to ensure that the religion of Islam and the culture of decency are followed and maintained,” explained the Director-General.
The Hisbah boss expressed delight at the visit by the AGN leadership also promised to open other channels of collaboration. He added that Hisbah is desirous of partnering with AGN in terms of using dramas and documentary to project the activities of the agency. According to him, Hisbah has gone through a series of reforms, as it is no longer used as a tool of oppression. “Before the inception of the present administration, it was common knowledge that the Hisbah, under the previous administration, was used to oppress enemies of the government. But when we came Governor Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso directed us to reinvigorate Hisbah and seperate the agency from politics. Today, we have an Hisbah which concentrates mainly on how to project Islam and promote good deeds and decency in the society. We have an Hisbah which respects other people’s religion. For instance, during the fuel-subsidy crisis, Hisbah Guards were deployed to churches to ensure security of lives and property. This is the kind of Hisbah we have today,” Sufi stated.
He, however, warned that the law prohibiting the sale and consumption of alcohol is still in place and urged AGN members to respect the culture and religion of the Kano people. “We will not fold our arms and watch members of AGN engage in immorality. We urge AGN to make films and dramas that promote decent social norms. The Hisbah is ready to work with this strong association,” he said.
Responding, Comrade Isah described filmmaking as a strong medium of communication and urged Hisbah to partner with the association so as to help change some of the wrong perceptions that non-Muslims and non-indigenes hold of the Hisbah Board and its activities. “Before now, the impression most non-natives had was that Hisbah was created to persecute them and what they do. But thank God the government of Dr. Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso, which you represent, has changed the perception and mode of operation of the Hisbah Board.