Kaduna religious preaching regulation bill: 20 things Christians must know

Kaduna religious preaching regulation bill

kaduna
Nasir-EL-Rufai

 

  1. The Kaduna state House of Assembly on Friday, June 7, passed the Religious Preaching Regulation bill into law hours before the eight assembly was dissolved

  2. The law has been in the assembly since 2016. It has been subject to litigation and criticism. But the state government says it would promote religious harmony and peaceful coexistence

  3. The new Religious Preaching Regulation law substitutes similar law of 1984 in the state.

  4. Alhaji Aminu Shagali, speaker of the Assembly presided over the sitting during which the bill was passed after it was read clause by clause.

  5. The bill provides for the establishment of an Interfaith Regulatory Council at the state level and committees at local government levels responsible for screening and issuing license to preachers.

  6. The councils will have two representatives each of Christian and Islamic bodies among other members.

  7. The new law mandates the council to hear and determine appeals to be brought before it arising from the decision of the local government interfaith committees.

  8. The council also has power to issue regulations considered necessary to guide the local government interfaith committees in the performance of their functions as provided under the bill, if signed into law.

  9. The supplementary provision provides that all cassettes, CDs, flash drives or any other communication gadgets containing religious recordings from accredited preachers may be played inside a private dwelling unit or vehicle, entrance porch (zaure), Church, Mosque and any other designated place of worship.

  10. Any person who plays religious cassette or uses a loud speaker for religious purposes between the hours of 11pm to 4am in a public place, and uses a loudspeaker for religious purposes other than inside Church or Mosque in Kaduna State commits an offense and shall on conviction be liable to imprisonment for a term of not less than two years or pay a fine of not less than N200,000 or both.

  11. Any person who publicly insults or seeks to incite contempt against any religion in Kaduna State, by making false statements in such a manner as likely lead to a breach of peace, shall be punished with imprisonment for a term of not less than five years or a fine of not less than N100,000 or both.

  12. The controversial bill, which was passed on Friday, just before the Kaduna State Assembly was dissolved, has been rejected by both Christians and Muslims in the state.

  13. CAN urged Kaduna Governor Nasir el-Rufai not to sign the bill stating that it has the potential to cause havoc in the state.

  14. Joseph Hayab, Kaduna State Chairman of CAN said,  “You don’t make laws with the intent of causing havoc, you make laws with the intent of helping people to unite. You don’t make laws and claiming that the purpose of the law is for peace but the law itself is used to cause a crisis.

  15. “We are stakeholders in nation building, but when people choose to treat us as if we don’t understand what is happening, then we have to show them that we also have a right.”

  16. Hayab also added that the bill would be tested in the court of law “because we are in a democracy, people should not just bring laws from the back door.”

  17. The Pentecostal fellowship of Nigeria of Kaduna State had also expressed its displeasure at the assembly for disobeying a court order restraining it from passing the bill.

  18. Sunny Akanni, counsel to PFN, Kaduna said, “We are surprised that despite the court order restraining the house from continuing with the hearing or anything on the controversial bill pending the determination of the matter, the lawmakers went ahead to pass it.

  19. The PFN had resolved to challenge the law in the court. Akanni stated, “We are going to serve forms 47 and 48 on the house for disobedience of a court order and if they don’t respond, we will charge the clerk and the speaker of the house for contempt of court.”

  20. The last might have not been heard about the controversial bill that was signed to law in Kaduna State.

 

 

About Gbenga Osinaike

Gbenga Osinaike is a 1992 graduate of Dramatic Arts from Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria. He specialised in Play-writing. He also holds a Master of Arts Degree from the University of Lagos. He was Assistant Editor in Punch Newspapers from where he resigned having worked for 13 years to start Church Times Nigeria in March 2007. He is currently the Nigeria representative of US based Institute of Global Church Studies and also the Publicity Secretary of the Lagos, Nigeria Chapter of the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria. He is married and blessed with two children.

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