El-Rufai says many states want to replicate religious bill

Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna state has disclosed that many other state governments have asked him for a copy of the preaching bill to replicate in their states. The governor was speaking with some reporters at the Sir Kashim Ibrahim government house in Kaduna. He said the proposed bill was sent to the state House of Assembly since October 15, 2015 and was not a new one as being said.“It was first enacted in 1984 during the term of Air Vice Marshal Usman Mua’zu (retd) after the Maitsine uprising in 1982. The then military junta saw the need to regulate preaching in some states in the North,” El-Rufai clarified. “Many states are ready to do similar thing now. They have asked for the copy of our bill. I will not name the states.” In the same vein he debunk rumours that he walked out on the Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, when he tried to reach an understanding with him on a particular issue, underlining that the claim was the handwork of his political enemies. Governor El-Rufai restated that the authors of such claims were wicked. He added: “I have never attended a meeting where the president and the vice president were all in the same room “I think the only time where the president and the vice president were around and I was in attendance was when the National Economic Council, NEC, was inaugurated by Mr President. He (president) came and delivered his address and left.” El-Rufai has also debunked speculations that he supposedly engaged his deputy, Barnabas Bala Bantex, in a fisticuffs over alleged argument on state matters. “We chair executive council meeting together, we operate like partners, and now people want to create enemity between us. I am of age, I can’t descend so low. This rumour is completely false, it is created to cause division,” he said. The law seeks to establish a joint multi-religious committee with representations equally drawn from the Jama’atul Nasir Islam and the Christian Association of Nigeria in the state to implement the regulation of all religious preaching in the state. The local state government said that the controversial bill on preaching is aimed at curbing religious extremism.

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