The Niger State government is set to regulate religious preaching and establishment of worship centres, as the public hearing on the executive bill sent to the state House of Assembly begins.
At the public hearing yesterday in Minna, speaker of the House, Adamu Usman, said that the bill would aid the all-inclusive style of the PDP- led administration in the state. Usman stated that when the bill was finally passed and assented to by the governor, each local government area in the state would have a religious preaching and places of worship regulation committee.
He also stated that the committee would issue preaching permits to visiting preachers and report any infringement of the law to the appropriate authorities, among other duties.
He described the bill as unique and a demonstration of the government’s efforts towards ensuring a peaceful and harmonious co-existence in the state.
He explained that under the proposed law, it is an offence to use offensive language or literature while preaching as thes can incite the people.
According to him, it is also an offence if a preacher maligns or ridicules the person or teachings of any of the prophets, their compatriots and disciples, or establishes, leads or conducts Juma’at prayer, Church services or prayers at religious praying grounds or convention centres established or created without a permit.
Usman said the proposed law seeks to decentralise the regulation of religious preaching, hence the establishment of committees in the local government areas.
He urged participants to be guided by their sense of reasoning and respect for each others views in order to produce a law that would stand the test of time.
He said that the sustainable peace and security being enjoyed in the state was as a result of Governor Muazu Babangida Aliyu’s style of inclusive governance.
Usman assured that the state legislature would continue to support and cooperate with the executive, with a view to ensuring peace among diverse groups in the state.
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