Kaduna Church leaders have thrown their weight behind the Christian association of Nigeria, CAN, stating that they will support any move towards fighting against an appeal of the ruling against the Kaduna State religious bill.
Meeting yesterday at CAN secretariat, the leaders advised Governor Nasir El-Rufai to withdraw any attempt to appeal the ruling against the religious bill. According to them, the state has no right to issue licences to religious bodies before they go about preaching.
Kaduna State CAN Chairman, Revd. Joseph advised the governor to rather spend effort in solving the issues with insecurity in the 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.
“For the Christians, we suspect that the bill, in the first instance, could be an attempt to bully the different faiths we profess and illegally aimed at obstructing religious preaching, especially the gospel of Jesus Christ. Given the ominous purpose of the bill, we stand with the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN) Kaduna State Chapter to legally pursue the matter to the apex court of the land.”
“We interpret the motive behind the bill as a gross violation of the rights of Christians and all people of faith to practise their faiths as enshrined in Nigeria’s constitution, which gives Nigerians the right to practise the religion of their choice.
“If the government refuses to listen to wise counsel to obey the court’s ruling on the bill to regulate religious preaching in the state, CAN will seek for alternative means to bring further to the observing eyes of the world the hostile approach of the government of the day in Kaduna State as opposed to the tenets of religious freedom and choice.”
CAN however advised the state to introduce bills which will encourage peace in the state: “We wish to advise the governor that rather than a bill to regulate preaching, the Kaduna State government will be best served by enacting laws to address hate-speeches and incitement, hate-crimes, noise pollution and the proper use of public spaces.
“We are equally calling on the governor, in the interest of justice and fair-play, to pay compensation to all victims of herdsmen attacks, kidnappers and armed robbers.