Recently, the government of Kano State through the Kano State Hisbah Board destroyed 1, 970, 000 bottles of beer; which according to reports, is worth N200million.
Yes, a whopping N200million destroyed just like that. Commander General, Kano State Hisbah Board, Sheikh Haruna Muhammad Ibn Sina said the exercise is to cleanse the state of ‘immorality.’
But the state can receive the immoral money from Value Added Tax (VAT). If beer is haram, then the state cannot pretend that the funds from VAT are halal. Which it is not.
In fact, Kano and other states willing to reject beer should also reject the Company Income Tax and Education Tax. Or is it that money is morally neutral?
According to a number of reports in the media, Hisbah in Kaduna also joined Kano to destroy some confiscated alcohol beverages.
But here is the irony…
Kaduna state has perhaps one of the largest breweries in the Country. The brewery there was opened as far back as 1963. With the people currently employed there paying personal income tax to the state, I guess the state has a problem with alcohol but cool with the money.
Without seeming to be doing a PR job for the Nigerian Breweries Plc; the company as at 2013 was the largest buyer of sorghum, a commodity mainly produced in the North. Aside farmers who are beneficiaries of the alcohol industry, NB Plc in 2013 contributed NGN110 billion economy-wide tax income; representing 4.6% of Nigeria’s non-oil tax revenue.
Further, Customs duties are also generated from the importation of assorted wines and other alcoholic beverages. Why is the Kano State governor and other northern governors not asking for such revenue to be deducted from their allocation; or even take it further by refusing to allow FG to domicile projects tainted with alcohol money?
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Indeed, Northern governors can take it further by ensuring that international donors or organizations with funding from alcohol industrialists do not spend their money in the north.
As a matter of fact, it seems we can sell opium but we campaign against heroin.
What is haram is haram, and what is halal is halal. Consistency is key here, so as not to confuse people. This lack of consistency can only be viewed as hypocrisy.
Rahama Sadau and the zealot mob
The call to try Kannywood actress, Rahama Sadau for inducing blasphemy against the Holy Prophet (Peace be upon him) is the latest in the growing religious zealousness in the North.
The actress posted a picture of herself in a nice dress. Suddenly she is being held responsible for comments made under her picture. Oh! Give me a break. This is even considering the fact that she has distanced herself from the comments.
“I’m with all sense of sincerity, dissociating myself from such derogatory & hurtful words. Everyone who knows me or follows me, should know I’m not the type that reacts to anything or embrace advice from social media moral police. But my Prophet & religion is where I draw the line.”
How is this not enough? Indeed, the north must ask this fundamental question; Pakistan or UAE, where do we want to head to?
This ISIS type of thinking will only lead to backwardness and sadness. No development can come to a region where laws like blasphemy become the order of the day. Even Saudi Arabia is making efforts to liberalize gradually.