The Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN) incorporated, Monday in Kaduna, expressed great concern that the executive bill before the Kaduna State House of Assembly as submitted by Governor Nasir El-Rufai has latent explosive heat that can set Kaduna State on fire if not properly managed by stakeholders or withdrawn.
The Christian group also expressed the fear of another attack likely to be unleashed on Christians if the bill was passed into law with the potential of also breaking the fragile peace currently being enjoyed in the state.
Addressing Journalists in Kaduna on the bill, Chairman of the PFN, Kaduna State chapter, Reverend Professor Femi Ehinmidu, alongside representatives from over one thousand churches within Kaduna metropolis and environs, said, “The body will do everything legal to ensure that the rights of Christians are not curtailed in the state.”
According to the PFN, ” We do not see any reason why restricting and regulating religious activities should be the government of Kaduna State priority when the issue prevailing in Kaduna State currently for every family is how to put food on the table, it is unimaginable to see our erudite governor exhuming a military era edit which came into being when the constitution was suspended, smacks of mischief.
“Now with this bill that he has sent to the house, he is opening up new vistas of hostilities between Christians and Muslem when bias implementation is carried out if the bill is passed into law.
“Further more, the bill is obnoxious and directly offends our faith. The Bible commands us in Mark 16 vs15, He said, “Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. In 1 Thesselonians 5 vs 29 also said, “Pray without ceasing, this is the life wire of the Christian religion.”
Reverend Ehinmidu opined that taking away the rights to preach and evangelise was telling the Christians not to practise their religion as commanded by the Lord Jesus.
“There are many laws that legislate on trampling on the rights of other people. Let those laws take full course, the bill not take Kaduna State backward. We oppose the bill in its entirety and we shall do everything legal to ensure that our rights as Christians are not curtailed.
“We call on well meaning Nigerians and relevant stakeholders to prevail on the government of Kaduna State to withdraw that vexing bill before Kaduna State House of Assembly.
“The bill has latent explosive heat that can set Kaduna State on fire if not tamed with proper stakeholders engagements or better still withdraw the bill from being processed in the House of Assembly and use existing laws to address the re-emerging religious challenges,” the body lamented.
Besides, the religious body stressed, “The Nigerian constitution guarantees our freedom of worship and our rights to propagate our religious beliefs. The Kaduna State government is not wiser than the whole lot of eminent Nigerians who gave the nation the constitution”
The executive bill on religious activities in Kaduna State seeks to prohibit hate speeches, regulate preachers, and prohibit use of loud speakers among others.