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Kano Hisbah arrests official for defending LGBTQ rights in interview

WISE is aware of the security risks and challenges that they face but remained determined to provide leadership for the community and empower them to take up leadership roles through the various programmes they implement.

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Kano Hisbah arrests official for defending LGBTQ rights in interview

The Kano State Hisbah Board has arrested and detained one of its officials, Idris Gama, for allegedly faulting the arrest of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) members by the police.

The Commander General of the Board, Sheikh Aminu Daurawa, disclosed the arrest while briefing newsmen in Kano on Monday.

He said the state government has already banned any group or association that promotes LGBTQ.

According to him, the agency has clamped down on many groups promoting LGBTQ in the state under the guise of empowerment.

He further stressed that Kano had already distanced itself from any agreement or association that contravenes the Sharia and Nigerian laws that prohibit same-sex marriage.

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The Commander-General also urged the public, religious and traditional leaders, media, and all relevant stakeholders to join the fight against immorality in the state.

However, the apprehended staff, Gama, explained that he was invited to a workshop via WhatsApp on women’s empowerment where a paper was presented on human rights.

He denied being a member of any group or association advocating LGBTQ rights, and that he was only invited to a workshop by a group named Women Initiative for Sustainable Empowerment and Equality (WISE).

“I was personally invited and after the programme, I was interviewed on how the police arrested LGBTQ members and I said it was a violation of human rights.”

He appealed for leniency and promised not to associate with WISE in the future.

A reliable source told newsmen on Tuesday that the WISE head office in Kano has already been closed while the staff were nowhere to be found.

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The Same-Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Act 2013 makes it illegal for same-sex individuals to marry, enter into a civil union, or gain entitlement to any benefits of a valid marriage in Nigeria.

The Kano State Government through the Commissioner for Information, Baba Halilu Dantiye, on Monday ordered a crackdown on all groups promoting LGBTQ in the state.

According to the commissioner, the activities of a group, Women Initiative for Sustainable Empowerment and Equality (WISE), were a complete breach of the state’s moral standards and a violation of the Shari’ah.

WISE’s background information on the website https://outofthemargins.org.uk/about/ did not hide its advocacy for LGBTQ rights. Its aims and objectives were listed thus:

Formerly known as Women Action for Gender Equality; the name changed to Women Initiative for Sustainable Empowerment and Equality.

WISE is the first non-profit organisation to identify as LBQ+ operating in the core northern region of Nigeria, a region made up of 19 states.

Under this system, a lesbian or bisexual woman may face caning or stoning to death for engaging in same-sex consenting relationships.

WISE is aware of the security risks and challenges that they face but remained determined to provide leadership for the community and empower them to take up leadership roles through the various programmes they implement.

 

Proofreading, editing by Gift Luckson and Hafsat Aleeyu Muye, Journalist and Editor at Neptune Prime.

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