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We’re not after skit makers, says Hisbah

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Hisbah, the security unit of Kano State, has said that the state’s efforts to control the creation of skits on social media, particularly the TikTok video-sharing site, are intended to modify public behavior rather than violate human rights.

Hisbah added that the state’s actors from Kannywood, among other skit creators, have promised to maintain their modesty during the production process.

This is occurring amid a public outrage against offensive remarks and content made by several skit creators, including Ado Gwanja, Ummi Shakira, Samha Inuwa, Murja, Mr. 442, Safara’u, Dan Maraya, Amude Booth, Kawu Dan Sarki, and Babiana, since late September 2022. These creators have also received complaints from a group of Islamic clergy.

The protagonist of the entire story, Murja Kunya, is a controversial TikToker whose way of life deviates from conventional conventions in northern Nigeria.

Her candor, her use of foul language, and her thought-provoking posts on social media have generated conversations and arguments within the community.

You may recall a few days ago, the state’s security team called for the reprimand of Messers Kunya and several others a few weeks prior, citing the state as one of the most devout practitioners of Islamic customs.

You may also recall that a viral video circulating in some quarters of social media respectfully showed Messers Kunya before the commandant general of the commission paying allegiance to uphold decent Islamic dictates in her content.

The federal government has tried a number of ways to control the internet and social media platforms.

The National Assembly launched a campaign in 2015 to combat social media abuse and tried to enact laws to control it.

The Federal Government banned Twitter on June 4, 2021, following the removal of a message deemed inappropriate by Major-General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), the former President.

The National Information Technology Development Agency also produced a proposed Code of Practice for Interactive Computer Service Platforms/Internet Intermediaries, an 11-page document, on June 13, 2022.

“This is about behavior modification and how can we correct the bad aspects of the youth’s behavior,” Idris Gama said in an interview with the Board’s focal point on Sunday. There is no violation of their human rights by us.

“There is no compulsion because when we talk about behavior modification, it is to admonish if one admits to modifying his bad behaviour that is not a problem.

“They admitted that some of the things they do are not in line with the law and those who attended the engagement pledge to conduct themselves henceforth.

Mr Gama pointed out the mutual understanding between the board and skit makers in the state.

He maintained, “There is a good mutual relationship that they stand to benefit from the commission and the government once their behavior is modified.

Elucidating further, he said, “The Hisbah Commission had an engagement with Tik Tokers, and I think a few days back they had the same engagement with Kannywood. If you look closely, Murja made some praiseworthy statements on the commission. There are indications that they were remorseful and they are willing to change their style of social life.

“Murja has also admitted that all their wrongdoings were due to ignorance of the fact that it was wrong and they pledge to make amends,” he said.

He maintained, “They have indicated that social media is just a part of their social life, not a challenge, so we do have not any provision for empowerment or schooling them.”

Murja Kunya, a.k.a. Murja Ibrahim Kunya, is a 24-year-old TikTok content creator who rose to prominence and popularity with her controversial and outspoken videos.

She was born in Kano State and became well-known on TikTok for her hilarious and amusing Hausa-language material.

Her path, however, changed when she was recently taken into custody by the Kano police on charges of acting indecently, using foul language, and committing acts against Islamic law.

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