Preaching Bill Not Aimed At Banning Evangelism In Kaduna – El-Rufai

Nasir-el-Rufai-Barnabas Bala BantexGovernor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State Tuesday told stakeholders that the preaching bill the state government sent to the House of Assembly was not intended to ban evangelism in the state but only to curb emerging religious extremism.
Speaking on the intention of government at a religious bill roundtable organised by a non-governmental organisation, Carefronting Nigeria in Kaduna, El-Rufai, who was represented by his spokesman, Samuel Aruwan, posited that, security of lives and property formed the basis of government’s intention.
Mr. El-Rufai while expressing appreciation for the reservations and contributions of religious leaders and other critical stakeholders, who have made their genuine positions known on the bill, lamented that some people have started politicizing the good intention of government to restore peace in Kaduna.
He said in the bill, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) and Jama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI) if passed, will have a framework where some strange ideological beliefs that are not in tandem with both faiths will be checked, stressing that the bill is not a law and everybody should make contribution.
He equally pointed out that just before the present government came on board, there were Killings in Southern Kaduna and Birnin Gwari axis of the state but now the situation had been brought under firm control.
“Government wants to curb extremism associated with religious beliefs and not to stop evangelism in the state or stop people from practicing their faith.
“Kaduna State Government means well for the people and wants to secure the lives and property of the residents of the state. There are emerging threats and we need to take drastic measures now. We should all support this bill”, El-Rufai stressed.
On his part, Carefronting Nigeria Coordinator, Maji Peters, said they were moved to call stakeholders for discussion because of the issues the bill has generated.
Peters said the roundtable forum tagged ‘Kaduna State Religious preaching regulations Bill: Intention and perception’, was aimed at getting the views of the critical stakeholders and finding the way forward for peace and development of the state.
On his part, Director General Interfaith Mediation, Engineer Namadi Musa, noted that they have gone round the three Senatorial Zones in the state to sensitize the people, calling on the State House of Assembly to make use of the public hearing so that people can make inputs.
Among the stakeholders present at the preaching bill roundtable included, the CAN, JNI, Christian Lawyers Fellowship of Nigeria (CLAFON), Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN) and other religions and Non-Governmental Organizations.