…As Kaduna Assembly Passes Controversial Religious Bill
The controversial bill seeking to substitute the Kaduna State Preaching Law, 1984 has been passed into law by the Kaduna State House of Assembly.
The state Assembly members at it last sitting on Friday, received the report of the ad-hoc committee and passed it into law few minute before the fifth Assembly was dissolved.
The controversial bill which was sponsored by Governor Nasir el-Rufai, was generally rejected by residents of the State when it was introduced at the floor of the House.
The passage of the bill came three years after the bill was criticised by different religious bodies and individuals.
According to the bill, preachers will have to given granted approval by a government agency before they can preach.
The bill, according to it’s promoters is to regulate religious preaching in Kaduna State with a view of promoting religious harmony and peaceful co-existence amongst the residents of the state.
Presiding over the plenary, the Speaker, Alhaji Aminu Abdullahi Shagali while reading the bill clause by clause said a state inter-faith Regulatory council has been established with a chairman to be appointed by the Governor on the recommendation of the Secretary to the state.
According to the Speaker, the bill further have it that the above mentioned council shall hear and determine appeals that is brought before it arising from the decision of the local government inter-faith Committee and also have power to issue regulations considered necessary to guide the state inter-faith council and local government inter-faith committee in the performance of their functions under the bill if signed into law.
He further mentioned that the bill when signed into law stipulates that in each of the 23 local Government areas of the state, a committee to be known as the Local Government Inter-faith Committee has be established.
According to him, the local Government Inter-faith committee shall consider and recommend to state Inter-faith Regulation Council all applications for the granting of licences to religious preachers as well as screen and recommend preachers for the granting of license among others function.
The supplementary provision explained that all cassettes, compact disks (CDs), flash drivers 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.
Its further stated that any person who play religious cassette or use 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 commits an offence and shall on conviction be liable to imprisonment for a term of not less than two years or pay a fine of less than #200,000.00 or both.
The bill added that any person who publicly insults or seek to incite contempt any religion, by making false statement in such a manner as to be likely to lead to a breach of peace, shall be punished with imprisonment for a term of not less than five years a fine of not less than N100,000.00 or both
Culled from Kakaaki Reporters