The Kano State Hisbah board has barred a radio station, 96.9 Cool FM, from using the term ‘Black Friday’ for promotional and advertising purposes.
This is contained in a letter written by Abubakar Ali, Principal Executive Officer II, on behalf of the Commander-General, as seen by The ICIR on Friday.
Abubakar, who said the letter was predicated upon receipt of complaint by the board said Friday is regarded as a holy day in Islam and tagging it as ‘black’ is derogatory and would not be condoned.
“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,” he said.
“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.”
While directing that the radio station should stop using the term, he added that Hisbah will be around the station to enforce the directive and to prevent what he called the occurrence of any immoral activities.
“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 occurrence of any immoral activities as well as maintaining peace, harmony and stability in the state.”
Kayode Oguntuase, a legal practitioner, told The ICIR letter has no grounds in the Amended 1999 Nigeria constitution. The lawyer, who said Hisbah only has power and authority over faithfuls who surrended themselves to the tenets of Islam cannot regulate the affairs of an organization who has not submitted itself to Islam.
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.
Hisbah is known for human rights abuses in Kano state. It is reputed for destroying bottles of alcoholic beverages and harasses residents for their choice of dressing and hairstyles.
The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) is the only agency of the federal government that is empowered to determine and apply sanctions including revocation of licences of defaulting stations which do not operate in accordance with the broadcast code and in the public interest.