By Usama Abdullahi
The Hisbah corps members have come under criticism for their recent activities, which include raiding or disrupting a hotel or social gatherings where immoral actions are being condoned. I’m surprised about its criticism. Just like any other institution or agency, Hisbah has its flaws. But to write it off merely because of what it’s doing lately isn’t morally right.
I wanted to stay clear of this issue. Still, I felt the need to chip in after listening to a minute-long interview the Commander-General Kano Hisbah, Sheikh Aminu Daurawa, granted to BBC Hausa regarding the backlash that greets their actions. In that interview, the Sheikh logically stated why they raided such “illegal” gatherings.
Through his revelations, I realised that they don’t just raid a hotel or any social gathering for their selfish concerns, but they first receive calls for an investigation. You see, Hisbah doesn’t carry out things as badly as some people would have us believe. They simply do the bidding of their people. The calls are often made by the people living near the places where such social vices occur.
Once they suspect something unusual in the said places, they do not fail to raise the alarm by calling Hisbah to carry out some investigations. And when the Hisbah Corps arrive at the scene of the “crime”, they don’t harass the suspects. Nor do they raid the entire place as they so wish. However, they go straight to the hotelier or owner of the place and inform them of their plan.
When they have the offenders in their custody, they usually preach to them and caution them against the consequences of their actions. But if they encounter serial miscreants, they take them to the court of law. So, if I may ask, what’s wrong with that? This is right on all fronts- both religiously and morally because they mainly target brothels where sex trafficking takes place.
Those arrested during their first raid were those from different states or countries. This tells you that the situation is far beyond what you hear. However, Hisbah, as a morality police, is doing what most security personnel fail to do. It’s simply doing the job of a police officer and that of parents.
Only when we look past our sentiments can we acknowledge the benefits of what Hisbah is bringing to society. No matter how you twist, you cannot deny that Hisbah has achieved what the police force hasn’t for years. If you argue that Hisbah is trampling on the rights of their victims, then I’ll put this question to you: how many rules have the so-called victims broken so far? I understand that two wrongs don’t make a right, but there’s no way a law can work without having the law-breakers face their full wrath.
Usama Abdullahi Writes from Abuja and can be reached at email@example.com.