Animal talk don start again!
The Federal Capital Teritory (FCT) authority in Nigeria has banned sale of alcohol in some parts of the city, according to a news report from Nigeria’s ThisDay newspaper.
Under what law can the FCT administration purport to decide that residents cannot and should not have access to alcohol in their residential areas? If the FCT administration does not want alcohol sold within ‘residential areas’, it should not permit the operation of businesses that trade in alcohol in those areas. Or are they suggesting that alcohol should only be sold in non-residential areas which include business and office districts?
Pray, is Wuye District, where we have at least three hotels, several recreational spots a major church (Family Worship Centre) and several residential areas including Finance Quarters a residential, commercial or business district? If alcoholic beverages cannot be sold in that area, does that mean those who live there have been stopped from entertaining their guests with what they want to drink?
Are we planning to turn the FCT to a police state (a sad reminder of the Abacha era) by asking hoteliers to send information about their guests to the police. I have no problem in asking hotels to keep accurate records of their guests but such should only be made available to the security agencies when demanded and perhaps ordered by a court of competent jurisdiction, not routinely.
On sex workers (why do we have to call them ‘commercial’ when the rest of us are not called ‘commercial’ doctors, lawyers, journalists, teachers or preachers since we earn a living through such work), I think what the FCT should focus attention on is information on safe sex. That some sex workers ‘sometimes are informants to armed robbers’ does not mean that ALL of them are such informants. Some of these persons are, after all, informants to the police as well!
With the minister’s argument, other businesses like cybercafé could be stopped from operating because some 419ers patronise them. It was for this same reason that governments claimed to ban the operation of okada businesses because some of them were allegedly involved in crimes. The reasonable ground for banning okada should actually have been safety of lives and limb. Recreational parks may also be banned in future because some miscreants may use them to plan and carry out criminal activities.
In short, why should anyone who is poor and unemployed be allowed a space in our cosmetic national capital if all they add to the city is their nuisance value, to the annoyance of our esteemed tourists who come from societies where sex workers do not exist (and do not have need of such persons in Abuja).
Lay it on Mr. Modibbo Umar and Mr. Akpanudoedehe as you improve on the reforms of your predecessor, Mr. El-Rufai!
The following is from ThisDay newspaper
FCT Bans Sale of Alcohol, Sex Workers
From Damilola Oyedele in Abuja, 02.06.2008
The Federal Capital Territory (FCT) administration has banned the sale of alcohol by hotels situated within the residential areas of the city. It has also banned the activities of commercial sex workers in the metropolis. The FCT Minister of State, Senator John Akpanudoe-dehe, made the announcement in Abuja yesterday at a meeting with hotel owners, saying the actions were being taken in a bid to sanitise the city. He also directed that the record of guests in hotels must be sent to security agencies after the guests might have produced their international passports, national identity cards or any other means of identification.He said the exercise would assist the security agencies in taking appropriate security measures in the city.The present administration, he said, would reduce to the barest minimum the activities of commercial sex workers in order to make the city attractive to tourists.Akpanudoedehe revealed the administration’s intention at reducing the crime rate in the city to the barest minimum, as he said that the protection of lives and properties of residents was paramount. He said: “We cannot permit the sale of alcoholic drinks in hotels located near our family houses. Ladies who hang around hotel premises sometimes are informants to armed robbers, and therefore, we must send them out of our streets. Abuja must not be seen as just a political capital, but also as a tourist centre for the country.”He therefore solicited the cooperation of hotels owners by providing information about guests who lodge in their hotels. The FCT Minister, Dr. Aliyu Modibbo Umar, in a recent interview with THISDAY had said his administration believed that alcohol use, drugs and crime were linked and should be curbed in the city. The FCT administration is also making moves to ban the smoking of tobacco in public places.