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The Christian Association of Nigeria, (CAN), Sabon Gari local government of Kaduna State, has noted that the issue of the proposed religious bill before the state House of Assembly seeking to regulate religious preaching in the state, if not properly handled could result to religious crisis similar to 2000 Sharia crisis in the state.
It urged the Kaduna State Governor, Malam Nasir Ahmad El-rufai to withdraw his bill seeking to regulate religious preaching in the State adding that the bill was capable of causing chaos.
The CAN branch said if governor El-rufai does not withdraw the religious bill, there was the likelihood that what led to Sharia crises in the year 2000, where lives and properties were lost and destroyed would re-surface.
CAN, while lamenting the Sharia 2000 crisis, said its escalation was as a result of the then government’s refusal to listen to the voice of the people.
The group after a meeting at Zaria on Sunday said any mistake would lead to a repeat of unavoidable loss of lives and properties, adding that it would further expose Kaduna state as a place where human lives have no value.
“If that happens, God will hold us responsible,” CAN said through its Chairman, Rev. Abua Midauda Gadzama.
CAN said categorically that El-rufai’s religious bill was a threat and would infringe the peaceful co- existence of both Christians and Muslims in the state.
“Another critical aspect of the bill is the vesting of summary jurisdiction to try violators to Sharia and Customary Courts but failed to specifically state who is subject to these Courts.
“We can logically infer that Muslims are the ones subjected to Sharia Courts, but not so to Christians being subjected to Customary Courts.
Therefore, it is indefensible for the Kaduna State Government to seek to subject Christians to jurisdiction of Customary Court.
“Most various ethno religious violence crises that took place in the past years are usually orchestrated by bigoted fellows who believe that their religion has been defamed or blasphemed and they have a duty to fight, maim, kill and destroy all in the name of defending their religion. Upon all this, no one have been prosecuted and convicted since the promulgation of the 1984 Edict,” CAN lamented.
The religious body further rejected the representative of CAN, JNI, Police, SSS, Head of Service among others that would form the ministerial body constituted by the governor to help in regulating religious activities in the state.
The group said when it comes to voting people who will be responsible for issuing licenses and other serious decision, CAN would not be equal representation, thereby, describing most government committees as being biased.
“Kaduna State Government should immediately retract the provocative and unconstitutional expedition by withdrawing the bill,” CAN said.