Group flays Kaduna’s ‘Religious Preaching Bill’
Warns Against Islamization Agenda
The National Christian Elders Forum (NCEF) has kicked against the proposed Kaduna State Religious Preaching Bill, saying it contravenes Section 38 (1) of the 1999 Constitution.
A section of the bill reads: “A person shall be guilty of an offence who, in contravention of this law; (a) preaches without a valid licence (b) plays religious cassette or uses a loudspeaker for religious purposes after 8pm in a public place (c) uses a loudspeaker for religious purposes other than inside a mosque or church and the surrounding areas outside the stipulated prayer times (d) uses a loudspeaker in vehicles plying the streets with religious recording.”
The Forum said it is disturbed by the direction of the Kaduna State administration, even as it alleged plot to execute an Islamisation agenda.
Chairman of NCEF, Solomon Asemota, who spoke in Abuja, urged the state government to drop the bill, as religion is a personal issue, adding that no one has the right to legislate on how individuals worship.
“We wish to express tremendous shock at the proposed Kaduna State Religious Bill (and) call on the Kaduna State Governor to retrace its steps from this ill-advised venture,” he said.
He added that the Forum is saddened by recent exposure in the country of serial cases of abduction of underage persons and forced marriages and conversion to Islam. “We condemn in totality this act of violation of the human rights of these girls; it is a degradation of our national values,” he said.
Faulting the inclusion of Nigeria in the Saudi Arabia Military Coalition, he said it appears that the Foreign Policy thrust of the present administration is to make Nigeria a satellite state of Saudi Arabia.
“The strengthening of the nation’s democracy and security for all should remain the greatest priority of government. This we see to have been negated by the President’s unilateral decision to enlist Nigeria in the 34- nation coalition.
“Given the emotive and sensitive nature of this unilateral executive decision, it should have been handled by the President in line with our democratic culture through popular discussion and participation by the citizenry, or at the very least, through the National Assembly.”
Asemota said NCEF is dismayed by the inaction of the Federal Government towards carnage caused by Fulani herdsmen across the country.
“It is most shocking that till today, there has been no prosecution of any of these marauders. For years, the Fulani herdsmen have been murdering innocent Nigerians with impunity. The response of government to the menace has to date been tepid and indifferent,” he said.