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Northern Governors Divided Over Implementation Of Preaching Law

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Tuesday, May 3rd, 2016
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The no-licence-no-preaching law which was allegedly unanimously endorsed last Friday by the 19 northern state governors may be heading for the rocks as some of the governors may have dissociated from it, noting that the peculiarity of their states will not permit implementation of such law.

The 19 northern state governors under the aegis of the Northern Governors’ Forum had at their last meeting in Kaduna, endorsed the commencement of the issuance of licence to preachers in the region. Governor Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna State was the first in the North to propose the bill which is still under consideration at the state House of Assembly.

In the communique they issued at the end of their meeting last Friday in Kaduna, the governors had alleged proliferation of sects and preachers in the region and agreed to close down all religious organisations and institutions that refused to be licenced with the respective state governments.

But this agreement collectively signed by the governors may not have gone down well with some of the states, especially those with large Christian populations like Plateau, Taraba, Benue, Kwara, Kogi, Nasarawa, and Adamawa.

THISDAY gathered that state like Plateau has begun to murmur against such agreement considering that it is out of tune with the religious beliefs of the larger population of their people.

Reacting, Special Adviser on Media to Lalong, Mr. Mark Longyen, said though every state in the North was part of the agreement, it might not be binding as each state has its own peculiarity.

Longyen added that Plateau State would have a second look at the law and determine whether or not it could be applicable to the state.

“It is true that Plateau State was part of the agreement, but it is not binding. We will look at the law again and domesticate it according to the peculiarity, reality and circumstances of the situation in Plateau State.”
Northern Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Rev. Yakubu Pam, and the Anglican Bishop of Jos, Bishop Benjamin Kwashi, were not ready to comment on the communique yet until they’ve taken their time to properly look through.
The clerics said they would comment appropriately and make their positions known after studying the said communiqué.

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