Monday, June 24, 2019

CAN leaders meet over El-Rufai’s preachers bill

The leadership of Christian Association of Nigeria in the 23 Local Government Area of Kaduna State met in the state capital over the state religious bill awaiting the assent of the governor, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai.

The CAN leaders, comprising two members each from the 23 LGAs of the state, said the State High Court judgement declaring the issuance and licensing of clerics in the state  as “illegal”, was a welcome development.

A State High Court had last Wednesday declared that the state had no rights to screen and issue licences to religious preachers in the state.

The court presided over by Justice Hajaratu Gwadah had maintained in her ruling that the state government had the rights to regulate religious activities in the state.

Justice Gwadah also ruled that screening and issuing licences to religious preachers was unconstitutional.

The Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria had in 2016 challenged the constitutionality of the bill, describing it is an infringement on fundamental human right.

The CAN boss added, “We invited you here to make a public statement on some recent developments in Kaduna State, particularly, the recent court’s ruling on the controversial Executive Bill seeking to regulate religious preaching in our dear state.

“We wish to state that the judgment of the court is a welcome development and a huge relief to all peace-loving people in the state, both Christians and lovers of peace from other faiths.

“Given the ominous purpose of the bill, we stand with the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria Kaduna State Chapter to legally pursue the matter to the apex court of the land.

“CAN is calling on the government to retrace its steps and focus on people-oriented programmes and stop exploiting religious differences to further polarize the citizenry.”

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