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Benue police to enforce liquor acts over insecurity

Police in Benue State are to begin the enforcement of liquor acts so as to curb the insecurity in the state.

The acts, according to the state Command’s spokesperson, DSP, Catherine Anene, will forbid beer parlours from operating beyond 10.00 pm.

The acts also stipulate that no drinking of alcohol from 6am to 1.59pm.

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DSP Anene said the Command is only implementing the liquor act which had been in existence.

Anene said, “There is a liquor act which stipulates that people who sell beer or alcohol in beer parlours and open places shouldn’t be there beyond 10pm. That is part of the law, there are other provisions of the law.

“But in Benue for a long time now, people sell alcohol beyond 10pm and some till the next day. So when the new Commissioner came, he said that will encourage crime. When people drink so much even beyond normal hours, they begin to misbehave and it encourages crime.

“So we want to enforce liquor act and that is why we started enforcing the act. The act has been there but there was no enforcement,” she added.

The Command’s spokesperson added that the state Commissioner of Police, Audu Madaki, had directed the Divisional Police Officers (DPOs) in the state to invite beer parlour operators within their area and find out if they have a license to sell beer and if they understand what the act says about the sale of alcohol generally.

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“The act has several portions which will be enforced to beef up security in the state.

Meanwhile, beer parlour operators in Makurdi, the Benue State capital are groaning in pains over the planned clampdown on their businesses.

One of the operators, Mr Peter Hir, who operates a popular beer joint also known as “Old School Bar” at High Level Area of Makurdi lamented that police in the state have begun a clampdown on their business without prior notice, a situation which is affecting their business.

According to him, “In Benue state, there are no industries but what we have is farming which is no longer possible due to Fulani herdsmen invasion.

“So now, bars, night clubs and beer parlours are the largest employers of labour and police want to cripple it.

Mr Hir lamented that with the planned clampdown on beer parlour in the state, many youths will be thrown into the labour market.

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Also decrying the planned clampdown, Madam Debby who operates along Naka Road said that the notice is that the beer parlours are to close business from 10pm.

She lamented that that was the peak period for beer parlour operators.

“This is because people start coming into my bar around 9pm to 9.30pm and the police are saying we should close by 10pm.

“Are we not worried that this will put many youths in the unemployment market and by that, the insecurity they are fighting will increase.

Madam Debby said the law was a Shariah in disguise and appealed to the police not to clampdown on their businesses.

She urged police authorities to find a way of implementing the restriction of movement in the night instead of clamping down on their businesses.

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