Northern Nigeria's Kebbi state plans to begin the implementation of the controversial Islamic legal code, shari'a, on December 1, according to Governor Mohammed Adamu Aliero.

By adopting and implementing shari'a, Kebbi would be following other Muslim-dominated states in northern Nigeria that have embraced the Islamic legal code.

In July, Aliero signed into law the bill establishing shari'a in the state. The law prohibits the sale and consumption of alcohol, prostitution, operation of brothels, and regulates the lives of the people of the state irrespective of their religious faith, in accordance with the injunctions of the Muslim holy book, the Koran.

"We have introduced far-reaching laws aimed at preparing the ground for the successful implementation of shari'a in Kebbi State," the governor told Compass in Kebbi city.

This implementation highlights a recent announcement from the head of the Nigerian Bible Society of the casualty figures of Christians killed and churches destroyed during previous religious clashes between Muslims and Christians in Kaduna, Nigeria earlier this year.

Rev. Dr. Fred Odutola, secretary-general of the Nigeria Bible Society, reported that about 875 Christians were killed in Kaduna alone during the religious conflicts. In addition, he said 800 churches were burned or demolished.

Odutola also told journalists in Lagos on October 5 that the government of Nigeria must address the issue of shari'a, since it is detrimental to the peaceful co-existence of the different religions in the country.

He said the Bible Society of Nigeria could not keep silent when Christians are being persecuted and church buildings destroyed. Odutola believes the implementation of shari'a in some northern states is aimed at the gradual ...

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