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Daurawa’s resignation stirs controversy over Kano’s war against immorality

The resignation of the Kano state Hisbah Board Commander General, Sheikh Aminu Daurawa, Friday morning following criticism of  his mode of operation by the state governor Abba Kabir Yusuf  is posing a serious challenge to Kano’s battle with immorality.

Sheikh Aminu Daurawa tendered his resignation in  a viral video clip shared on his Facebook page, while attending a retreat with Kano lawmakers in Kaduna. 

“I heard some statements coming from Kano State, which honestly got me demoralised. What I have been trying to do in Hisbah is instill moral discipline and behavioural change. I have done my best in inviting filmmakers and we discussed a lot on how to go about our mission.

“But I am seeking the forgiveness of the governor. I wish to let him know that I have stepped down from the position he gave me at Hisbah. And I pray that he succeeds in his government,” he said in the video. 

Major Controversies of Hisbah Under Daurawa

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Governor Yusuf had on Thursday, during a meeting with imams at the Government House, expressed displeasure with the way and manner Hisbah carried out some raids against places of ill repute late last year.

He reprimanded the Hisbah over the way its operatives manhandled adolescent males and females and forcefully threw them into lorries during the operation.

The governor cited two viral videos of Hisbah raids at a fish joint by Sarina Hotel and the storming off-campus lodgings of female Bayero University Kano students.

“Hisbah is a board that we take in high esteem and bring in God fearing people that we know they can deliver given the people’s mandate in line with what is right.

“I want to call on the attention of agencies saddled with the responsibility of putting youth on the righteous paths, especially Hisbah.

“The meaning of establishing agencies like this is to do the right thing and also advise us and all stakeholders on the right thing to do.

“We want the right thing to be done, what if, God forbids someone got injured on his spinal cord, he is finished.” He said.

Governor Yusuf therefore called on Hisbah officers to change their tactics by conducting joint operations with other security agencies and handing over the suspects to relevant authorities.

Murja Kunya Controversy

The curious thing about the governor’s comment is the timing amid the raging controversy over notorious female TikTok celebrity Murja Kunya.

Ms Kunya, an ardent supporter of Governor Yusuf was released from prison custody in unclear circumstances while undergoing trial in a Sharia court after she had been arrested by Hisbah officers.

The manner in which she was released without proper bail hearing led to rumors that Sheikh Daurawa had resigned from his position.

The Commander General denied the rumor that time while explaining that the only thing that would make him to resign was if the Governor that appointed him wouldn’t allow him to execute his work.

The governor’s speech is therefore seen as the last straw given that the Hisbah stopped the raids he alluded to since November last year.

Also, the Commander General seems to believe that the governor is expressing a specific concern over the fate of Murja Kunya even though he did not mention her by name.

“I equally called TikTokers and used money from my pocket and those of my subordinates. We gave them data and transport fares and we also discussed; the same thing with Murja and her friends. I prayed for them and advised them accordingly.

“We have done our best in seeing that we did the right thing.” Daurawa said in his resignation video.

Clerics urge reconciliation

However, some prominent Islamic clerics have called for reconciliation to allow Daurawa retain his position.

 Dr Abdallah Gadon Kaya, in a video shared on Youtube, called for  truce, saying someone like Sheikh Daurawa should not be allowed to go like that.

The cleric said the primary function of Hisbah was upholding what is right and prohibiting what is bad.

“Sheikh Daurawa has contributed immensely to this cause, assisting not only Kano State but the federal government and many states, as well as foreign governments,’’ he said.

Gadon Kaya said that at the moment, there is no cleric as experienced with Hisbah work as Daurawa, noting that the governor is human and can err, especially when he spoke while he was probably angry.

“I call on the governor to exercise restraint and invite Daurawa for discussion on the way forward. It will be a great loss to allow the cleric go without reconciliation. Daurawa must not to be allowed to resign,’’ he emphasised.

He appealed to Daurawa to forget what happened and remember that the work of Hisbah is to please God, saying mischief makers will feast on the situation to continue with immoral behaviours in Kano.

Another prominent Islamic cleric, Sheikh Sani Rijiyar Lemo, during his Friday sermon at the Sheikh Jaafar Mahmud Adam Mosque, implored the state government to  support the fight against all forms of immorality in the state.

Rijiyar Lemo said Kano  was being targeted for promotion of immoral things “with girls trooping into the state just to engage in uploading video contents promoting nudity on the social media.’’

Although the Islamic cleric did not call out names, he said if the government, clerics and traditional rulers allowed immoral activities to go unchecked, the whole society would be in trouble.

Residents react

Meanwhile, Kano residents have expressed their opinions over the utterance of Governor Yusuf, which they believe triggered the resignation of Sheikh Daurawa.

A journalist and publisher of Daily Nigerian, Jafar Jaafar,  accused Governor Yusuf of not granting audience to Sheikh Daurawa when he tried to brief him on Murja Kunya’s case.

“From what I gathered, Sheikh Daurawa made some attempts to see the governor but he did not give him an audience nor he answer his call,” Jaafar wrote.

Also, Malam Nasiru Umar, a tailor said that what the governor said would give licence to girls who engage in immorality to continue with what they were doing and remain untouchable. “Everybody that uses the social media is definitely aware that what Murja is doing is not Islamic, it is immoral. But she is now free. This is unacceptable in Kano, where most people are Muslims,” he said.

Another resident, Ummi Uba, told Daily Trust Saturday that the Sheikh’s resignation was disappointing  

“When I first heard about the resignation, I thought it was a mistake until I reached out to social media handles. This is impossible,” she said.

Malam Yahaya Abdullahi faulted the Kano State Government for its action.

“Had it been the governor called Sheikh Daurawa and spelt out how he wanted him to approach the job, I am sure it would have been better. Coming out publicly to condemn the activities of Hisbah is an insult to Daurawa. What the governor did was very wrong,” Abdullahi said.

Alhaji Aminu Alkasim also condemned the statement by Governor Yusuf and sympathised with Daurawa. He urged Hisbah officials not to relent in their activities, saying they should continue where Daurawa stopped.

“I urge Hisbah officials to continue with what they have been doing. From the governor’s speech, I understand that he did not mention that Hisbah should stop raiding those places. So they should continue and not give those girls room to continue with their unmoral activities.

 When contacted on whether Governor Yusuf has accepted the resignation of Sheikh Daurawa, his director-general, media and publicity, Sanusi Bature Dawakin Tofa, declined comment.

War against immorality

Governor Abba Kabir Yusuf he reappointed Sheikh Aminu Ibrahim Daurawa as the commander-general of Hisbah following his electoral victory in 2023. 

Former Governor Rabiu Kwankwaso first  appointed Sheikh Daurawa as the Hisbah commander-general in 2011, but he resigned in July 2019 because former Governor Abdullahi Ganduje accused Hisbah of deviating from its main function. 

The Hisbah Board under Sheikh Daurawa had, late last year, launched coordinated raid on some hotels in Kano metropolis and arrested about 190 young girls and boys for alleged involvement in immoral acts.

Following a public uproar over the operation, Hisbah changed tacticts by inviting filmmakers and TikTokers to discuss ways to conform to religious injunctions in their activities.

 

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