The chicken has come home to roost for the Nigeria Police Force (NPF,) who whether wittingly or not historically worked with and in so doing emboldened the illegal Hisbah (Islamic Police) operations in major core North States.
An officer of the NPF known simply as Inspector OC Gulder stands detained by Hisbah for allegedly supplying beer to a vendor in Sabon Gari ‘New Town,’ Kano.
Hisbah, which is tasked with enforcing an Islamic religious edict that calls for “enjoining what is right and forbidding what is wrong on every Muslim,” has overstepped for years with little consequence. Only raising spirited, if not short-lived, conversation.
The Hisbah has no powers to prosecute, only arrest, perform preliminary investigation(s) and hand over the suspect to the police. This has time and again worked to the satisfaction of both institutions. It’s illegality notwithstanding.
The victims then were regular everyday citizens going about their businesses. From atheist Mubarak Bala, Singer Yahaya Sharif-Aminu, to Actress Rahama Sadau, and most recently, Hair Stylist Elijah Ode. None of these victims gave the NPF pause to ponder the illegality of working to enforce Shariah, it was merely one more avenue to flex their power.
Perhaps the detention of a Police Inspector, might finally give them that much-needed pause.
The downside if they still miss the memo and fail to curtail this emerging menace is that the Hisbah has sent a clear message that they are the new sheriff in town, and the NPF could soon have a monster on its hands it can’t contain.
In the meantime, the outrage continues on social media.