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Black Friday: NBC keeps mum on Hisbah’s letter to Cool FM


NBC bars broadcast stations from reporting details of insurgents, kidnappers attacks

The National Broadcasting Commission has refused to make any comment on the letter addressed to a radio station, 96.9FM by Shariah police organisation, Hisbah, in Kano State.

The spokesman for NBC, Antia Ekanem, said he was on leave when contacted him for comment.

“Please I am on leave and I cannot make any comment,” he said.

Attempts to speak with the Director-General of the NBC, Prof. Armstrong Idachaba, proved abortive as he neither responded to repeated calls nor a text message on Friday.

The NBC Act states that the commission is the only organisation that has the powers to prescribe a code for broadcasters and sanction them. NBC has also been known to impose fines on errant radio stations.

On Thursday, the Kano State Hisbah Board, which is tasked with the duty of enforcing Sharia law in Kano State, wrote a letter to a radio station, in Kano State, 96.9 Cool FM, for using the term ‘Black Friday’.

Black Friday is an informal name for the Friday following Thanksgiving Day in the United States, which is celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November. The term is used worldwide to mean a day for promotional sales where goods are sold at discounted prices.

However, in a letter signed by Principal Executive Officer II, Abubakar Ali, on behalf of the Commander-General, Hisbah stated that Friday is regarded as a holy day in Islam and tagging it as ‘black’ is derogatory and would not be condoned.

The letter titled, ‘Letter of Introduction’ reads in part, “I am directed to write and notify you that the office is in receipt of a complaint for the conduct of ‘Black Friday Sales’ on November 27, 2020.

“Accordingly, we wish to express our concern on the tagging of Friday as ‘Black Friday’ and further inform you that the majority of the inhabitants of Kano State are Muslims that consider Friday as a holy day.

“In view of the foregoing, you are requested to stop calling the day ‘Black Friday’ with immediate effect and note that the Hisbah Corps will be around for surveillance purposes with a view to avoiding the occurrence of any immoral activities as well as maintaining peace, harmony, and stability in the state.”

Hisbah, Islamic police operating in many states in the North, has been accused of several human rights abuse.

It is known for accosting vehicles transporting alcoholic beverages are also not allowed to pass through the state. According to Hisbah’s Commander General, Sheik Aminu Daurawa, over 12 million bottles of beer were destroyed in 800 operations executed in seven years.