The Northern Nigerian den of intolerance and religious fundamentalism, Zamfara, is in the news again. The city council of the state capital of Gusau has issued a ban on all “dancing and music” in the city, inculding during traditional festivities, weddings and other celebrations. The council chairman, Alhaji Ibrahim Umar Tanko announced the ban on state radio “in a bid to strengthen adherence to Sharia”
In 2000, religious extremism in Zamfara paved way for the induction of Sharia into the legal criminal code of 12 Northern states. The State has since been in the grips of poverty ranking lowest in all development indices for 17 years. 4 years ago, a sexually explicit video of a former commissioner from the state made national headlines. The video showed the commissioner in a sex romp with a woman who was later revealed not to be his wife.
Earlier this year, the State made the news again when the Son of Ahmed Sani, Yerima, the Governor who brought Sharia to Zamfara, got married in an extravagant wedding that witnessed dancing and music from semi clad women.
Although the latest ban is probably another cheap ploy by the City Council to score political points, its points to a resurgence of the disturbing trend that fueled the Bokoharam insurgency; the return of political Islam to the fore front of the region’s political consciousness