No Governor Can Be An Emperor – Catholic Church Tells El Rufai As It React To Controversial Preaching Bill

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Following the public criticism that has greeted the
proposed anti-preaching law by the Kaduna state
government, the Catholic Church of Nigeria has
asked the state governor, Nasir El Rufai to thread
with caution as no governor can be an emperor.

The Catholic Church’s position was made known
by the Director of Caritas International, Rev. Fr
Evaristus Bassey, at a press briefing by Caritas
International, a department under the Catholic
Bishops Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) in Abuja
yesterday March 22nd.

Bassey said although the laws are meant to curtail
the excesses of religious men in the state, the
content of the law appears to be quite
overbearing and will hamper the constitutional
rights of residents of the state to freedom of

“The fear is that even if the proposed bill
contains good aims, the proposed
restrictions would play into the hands of
officials of state who have a hegemonic
mentality and would allow them the
freedom to persecute one religion in favour of another. The principle of separation of
state and Church/Mosque which springs
from the supposed secularity of the
Nigerian constitution would be severely
battered if this bill is pursue in the way it is.
Governor El Rufai, who is quite dogged in the pursuit of anything, given this tool,
would pursue ardently both what is good
and what may be divisive. We advise that
Kaduna State rely on existing laws and
existing state instruments of law
enforcement, to maintain religious harmony in Kaduna State instead of reinventing the
wheel. The majority of Kaduna people
appear not to want this law, and their
wishes should be respected, as no
governor is an emperor but an elected
official who should defer to the people’s will. The people’s will is sovereign; because
of the potential abuses this bill could bring
when it becomes law, we opine that it is not
necessary” he said

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