The Coalition of Christians with Conscience (CCC) in Kaduna State has urged Governor Nasir el Rufai to reconsider his position and not pass the controversial Kaduna State Religious Preaching Regulation Law, 2019 into law.
But an Abuja-based minister and advocate for the rights of Southern Kaduna peoples, Rev. Polycarp Gbaja, wants the coalition to move a notch higher to challenge the proposed law in court.
In a social media post, Gbaja said: “…Urge the Governor to reconsider and not pass this into law..!” is such a lame duck position. No urging, appeal or advising would ever work on such. The Bill has already been passed for Governor’s signing into law.
“Only through challenging this in court and obtaining a reversal and/or other requisite and compelling actions could this be stopped. Ditto every and any policy enacted that is deemed unconstitutional.
“We have to be as strategic, deliberate and determined or we shall be wiped out physically, politically, economically, legally and even spiritually.
“The noose is closing in on local and national issues and we don’t seem to even have a clue as to what is really before us nor understand the dynamics of the present happenings.”
CCC in a statement had said Governor Nasiru El-rufai is with his Kaduna State Religious Preaching Regulation Law effectively banning night vigil, Christmas eve, Easter and New year eve celebrations for christians, says Istifanus Daniel of the Coalition of Christians with Conscience (CCC), Kaduna.
The statement signed by Daniel and the Secretary of the coalition, Paul Musa, said that the law, which is termed, The Kaduna State Religious Preaching Regulation Law, 2019, contains several areas that will directly affect the worship mode of Christians in Kaduna State.
A part of its provisions criminalizes “Any person who plays a religious cassette or uses a loud speaker for religious purposes between the hours of 11pm and 4am. ”
Added the coalition, “This is very disturbing as it means that Christians cannot hold night vigils, celebrate Christmas, Easter and New year eve in the evenings which fall typically within those hours. The provision is also divisive as our Muslim brothers are allowed to say their prayers at 5am after the ban for Christians.
“That this law seeks to ‘accredit preachers’ and appoint regulators of faith means that it is the state government that will determine what is preached or not. Has the state purged itself of its own political woes as to move into the sphere of faith? Surely, we are not in a theocracy but a democracy. The state and faith must be well separated. It is surprising that politicians who use thugs and take over the streets with loudspeakers do not have laws that will regulate them yet think that worshippers are the people to be regulated.
“The law also defines a designated place of worship as ‘ a building constructed with permission sought for and obtained from the Kaduna State Urban Development and Planning Agency (KASUPDA) for the purpose of religious worship.”
“In many states of northern Nigeria, Christians are not allowed to buy land and build churches, imagine how difficult it will be for Christians in Kaduna state to obtain permit to build churches if this law is passed.
“We the CCC wish to draw the attention of the Kaduna State Government of the violation of our faith which this law will bring”.