From Olanrewaju Lawal, Birnin Kebbi
Sokoto State Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal has explained that the new Hisbah Commission in the state should not be perceived as a legalistic gimmick aimed at fostering anything other than the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria on residents of the state.
Governor Tambuwal stated this while signing into law the state’s Hisbah Commission Bill submitted to him by the Sokoto State House of Assembly (SOHA).
While appealing to the people of the state and those outside not to misconstrue or misrepresent the law, the governor emphasised that there is no ulterior motive behind its enactment.
According to him, ‘our own Hisbah in Sokoto State was midwifed, as at today, in full collaboration with all of the security agencies in the state. And they had representation in the committee that came up with this law. Our Hisbah law do not and is not in conflict with any provision of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
‘It is not a state police. It is not Sharia Police. It is more of a community policing device, organ, agency; for want of a singular adjective to qualify it, that is coming on board to help the other constitutionally recognised security outfits operating in the state in, first and foremost providing intelligence: collecting, collating and providing intelligence to the security services; complimenting the role, of also nipping in the bud and reporting to appropriate agencies any likelihood of the commission of a crime,’ the governor said.
He added: ‘We are not coming up with a police that is here to discriminate against believers of another faith. No. We are coming up with an outfit that is to what the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria enshrined and provide for in terms of support to the agencies of security that are established by the Constitution.’
Noting that the law predates his administration but was moribund thus leading to the development of multiple claimants to its leadership, the governor said his administration through wide consultations reconciled the disputants and proceeded to ‘activate the existing law …’ and will then constitute (its) leadership pursuant to the law for the Hisbah Commission.
While applauding the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, the Sokoto State House of Assembly (SOHA), the state Executive Council and the broad spectrum of stakeholders who played great role in crafting the Bill, Governor Tambuwal said: the subsisting Hisbah Commission that came into effect in the State is ‘an outfit’ that does not violate the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, which enshrines and provide for it ‘in terms of support to the agencies of security that are established by the Constitution,’ assuring that the Commission will be empanelled with ‘people of proven integrity and character…as prescribed by the law.’
Pointing out that the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria allows people of the country to reside wherever they so chose, provided that they remain law abiding, he admonished ‘those who have chosen to live in other places other than their ancestral homes, to accept the norms and the traditions of their host communities; and to be law abiding.
‘It is only when we are law abiding and we follow the rule of law that we can have a crime free society that will engender peace and peaceful coexistence that will bring about environment for development personal, private or even government programmes,’ he said.