UNEXPECTED: Kaduna Assembly finally passes bill to grant Ministers license before preaching

Following periods of wide criticism on the adverse effect of such a bill, that mandates license to be gotten before preaching can take place, the bill has finally been passed into law in Kaduna with penalties for those who default.

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Kaduna House of Assembly
Kaduna House of Assembly

Following periods of wide criticism on the adverse effect of such a bill, that mandates license to be gotten before preaching can take place, the bill has finally been passed into law in Kaduna with penalties for those who default.

The Religious Preaching Regulation law, 1984 before the Kaduna State House of Assembly seeking substitution was on Friday passed into law

The passage of the bill came three years after the bill faced serious criticism from different religious bodies and individuals.

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The bill, which purpose 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 was brought to the House since 2016.

Presiding over the plenary, the Speaker, Alhaji Aminu Abdullahi Shagali while reading the bill close by close 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.

Also, two members representing the Christian and Muslim faith, respectively, to be appointed by the Governor, among others.

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According to the Speaker, the bill further has it that the above mentioned council shall hear and determine appeals brought before it arising from the decision of the local government inter-faith Committee and also has 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 to be established.

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According to him, the local Government Inter-faith committee shall consider and recommend to state Inter-faith Regulation Council all applications for the grant of licence to religious preachers as well as screen and recommend preachers for the grant of license among other functions.

The supplementary provision explained that all cassettes, compact disks (CDs), flash drives 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.

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It further stated that any person who plays religious cassette or uses 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 N200,000.00 or both.

The bill added that any person who publicly insults or seeks to incite contempt any religion, by making false statements 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.

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