…Dealers condemn action as “discrimination.”
by Achadu Gabriel, Kaduna
Sabon-Gari local government council in Zaria area of Kaduna state has reportedly sealed-up all beer parlours in the area as part of the decision to ban the sales and consumption of alcohol in the local government, based on the magistrate court order, on Friday, 17th July, 2020.
The council issued a bye-law to liquor and spirit dealers to stop the sale and consumption of alcohol within the area, which attracted serious condemnation from dealers of liquor and spirit in Sabon-Gari local government area.
The leadership of the affected association appealed to the council to stop the action, which it described as an “act of discrimination.”
They cautioned that such action may also affect some northerners in other parts of the country, who are conducting legitimate businesses elsewhere.
“We believe the business we conducts is a legitimate business and does not contraband the laws of the land and we also pay tax to the government.
“It is also worthy of note they we don’t produce the liquor/spirit but we buy from brewery, which is the largest country’s source of revenue,” the association noted.
The association further lamented that the law is a “technical knockout” for dealers of liquor and spirit in Sabon-Gari local government, opining that no District Head, Mai Angwa or Ward Head will sign the document approving sales and consumptions of beer in their communities, as mandated by the bye-law.
“Such action is just like the government of eastern and western states asking all Christians to be slaughtering meat in all the eastern and western states abattoirs, which means, most of the Muslims will not be able to eat meat there.”
The association submitted that the bye-law is trying to disintegrate what the forefathers fought for many years ago before the Independence of 1960. Speaking to journalists, counsel to the local government, Barrister Shanwil Muhammed Nasiru, said that the bye-law from the local government did not stop the sale and consumption of alcohol regulations.
Barr. Shanwil stated that the liquor association took the local government to court because they refuse to renew their license since 2019, and that the local government is willing to issue them with the license, if they can comply with the condition before obtaining the license.
In a counter response, counsel to the association, Barrister Solomon Karne, pointed out that, there are conditions the local government gave alcohol dealers in Sabon-Gari local government before they can operate.
“For what we know as citizens, the sale and consumption of alcohol in Nigeria is not a religious affairs but the culture and tradition of some certain people in the world, not religion at all.
“Most people believe that the sale and consumption of alcohol in Nigeria is being carried out by Christians, which is not correct,” he stressed.