Urges Pastors, Imam, Others To Get A Licence To Preach In Public Or Be Penalized
The Kaduna State Assembly has passed into law a bill stating that any person who plays religious cassette or uses a loudspeaker for religious purposes in a public place 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 not less than N200,000 or both.
Africa News24 (AN24) understands that the Religious Preaching Regulation bill had been brought to the table of the 8th Assembly since 2016 but passed the bill before the commencement of their valedictory session which took place earlier this week.
AN24 also understands that the state government had in 2016 argued the bill was meant to regulate religious preaching in order to promote religious harmony and peaceful coexistence not to stipple religious freedom.
Alhaji Aminu Shagali, Speaker of the Assembly who presided over the sitting during which the bill was passed said the bill provides for the establishment of an Interfaith Regulatory Council consisting of Christian and Islamic bodies amongst others at the state level and committees at local government levels responsible for screening and issuing licence to preachers.
“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 Interfaith Committee has to be established.
“The Local Government Interfaith Committee shall consider and recommend to state Interfaith 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 provides that all cassettes, 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.