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No, the government of Niger state in Nigeria has not banned alcohol

IN SHORT: Niger state has not banned the sale and consumption of alcohol.  Ignore messages claiming it has.

Has the state government banned the sale and consumption of alcohol in some parts of Niger state? A post shared on Facebook in December 2023 claimed as much.

Niger State government bans alcohol in 9 LGAs. The Niger State Government has announced plans to ban sales and consumption of alcohol in Suleja and eight other local government areas of the state,” the post reads.

It cited a “statement signed by the board secretary, Ibrahim Muhammad Bonu, on Monday”  and claimed that the ban would begin on 1 January 2024.

Niger state is located in the north-central part of Nigeria. LGA refers to Local Government Areas, one of 774 in the country.

Umar Bago, the governor of Niger state, is pictured in the post. He was inaugurated in May 2023.

The claim has also been shared on Facebook here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here.

Islam is the predominant religion in Niger. Alcohol consumption is forbidden in Islam. Some northern Muslim states, such as Kano and Katsina, have banned the sale and consumption of alcohol altogether. 

Did Niger state follow suit? We checked.

NigeriaAlcoholBan_False

Not true - Bago

Such claims have the potential to incite religious conflict between Christians and Muslims. They are also damaging to businesses.

Niger’s governor denied the claim. In a statement, Bago called the news “a figment of the imagination of mischief-makers in the state”.

The state government did not authorise the ban on alcohol. I hereby urge the citizenry, irrespective of their religious and ethnic leanings, to go about their businesses without let or hindrance.”

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