By; BALA B. BITRUS, Minna
Foot soldiers of the Niger State Liquor Licensing Board on Wednesday announced it had destroyed 2,600 cartons of assorted alcoholic beverages mopped up from unlicensed sellers of the highly regulated drink in parts of the state capital.
The confisticated alcoholic consignments whose monitory value were not immediately disclosed, nor the identities of the defaulter revealed. The commodities were however destroyed in Minna, the state capital by the officials of the anti liquor board.
Consumption, sells and distribution of all alcoholic beverages in the state are regulated and restricted to certain places approved by the state after operational licences are obtained.
In 2002, the state government adopted the Shari’a legal system despite opposition by a section of the state to ban the sells, distribution and consumption of liquor.
Following the introduction and adoption of the Islamic sharia legal system, the state consequently empanelled a regulatory board to check the local production of alchoholic beverages, sells of refined, bottled alchoholic drinks and closed down brotels, Beer Parlour including all On and Off Licences joints dealing in the sells of liquor.
Since then, the sales and consumption of the commodity is restricted to police and military, Airforce officers’ Mess, the secretariat of the Nigeria Union of Journalists and such related restricted places located mostly outside the city centre of the state capital.
Those who indulge in drinking the commodity, only find their rhythms in such places even as the state’s liquor licensing board battles often to ensure compliance and fight defaulters.
The Chairman of the Liquor Licensing Board, Barrister Yahaya Halladu said the board was determined to curb the indiscriminate consumption of liquor in the state and ensure decency in the conducts of citizens.
Barrister Halladu said the measure taken by the board was to ensure sanity in the state, reduce social vices, misbehavior and lawlessness amongst citizens.
He said the board was also handling such issues as prostitution, rape and other related acts of misdemeanor. According to him defaulters would soon be prosecuted in accordance with the relevant laws in sharia practices.
The Chairman of the board said any body wishing to operate the business of selling liquor or operate Beer parlour or sell liquor must first obtain license from the board before venturing into such business or risk the wrath of the law.
Though no arrest of offenders was mentioned nor details of the areas where the cartons of Beer were mopped up from, the liquor licensing board said it would not relent on it’s oars to ensure that consumption of alcoholic beverages were drastically reduced and such vices as prostitution and unnatural behaviors as homosexuality were ended in the state.