The Kaduna state chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) on Monday rejected the bill aimed at regulating religious activities which was promoted by the Kaduna state government and approved by the state house of assembly.
Addressing a press conference in the state, CAN chairman in Kaduna, Joseph Hayab while condemning the bill, urged governor Nasir el-Rufai to devote his time and energy in addressing the high level insecurity in the state.
According to Hayab, the bill could be illegally used to obstruct religious preaching, especially the gospel of Jesus Christ.
He said: “It is no longer news that people within Kaduna state are repeatedly being robbed, abducted or killed by bandits, often identified as herdsmen almost on a daily basis.
“Manifestly, the government seems to have failed in its key responsibility of safeguarding lives and property of the people since armed bandits now, than ever before, continue to cause hapless citizens havoc at any time they so wish without fear of being captured.
“Consequently, families and relations have had to cough out huge sums of money, amid scarce resources, to pay ransom to kidnappers to have their abducted relations freed.
“Therefore, the problem that should be of grave disquiet to the government of Kaduna state and the front burner is the way to secure our territory from the intrusion of armed bandits instead of compounding the problems with a bill that offends the set provisions of the Nigerian constitution.
”We, as a result, call on el-Rufai to devote his energy and attention to addressing the unending challenge of constant kidnappings of our people on the highway, in their farms and homes.”
“In the interest of justice and fair play,” pay compensation to “all victims of herdsmen attacks, kidnappers, and armed robbers, just like he paid the fulani herdsmen three years ago to “stop the killings in some parts of Kaduna State,”Hayab admonished governor el-Rufai.
It will be recalled that the Kaduna state high court last week struck down the law, stating the state government had no right to screen and issue licences to preachers.