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Northern governors move against provocative preaching

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El Rufai

El Rufai

To reduce the level of crisis induced by proliferation of religious sects, the governors of the nineteen Northern States have resolved to curb the activities of religious clerics in the region.

The resolution, which was part of the outcome of the governors’ meeting in Kaduna at the weekend, seems to have endorsed the religious preaching bill introduced by Governor Nasir Ahmed El-Rufai in Kaduna State, that would apparently be replicated in other 18 states soon.

In a communique issued after the meeting, which was chaired by Borno State Governor, Alhaji Kashim Shettima, the governors said: “The Forum has noted with concern the emergence and proliferation of Islamic religious sects in some parts of northern Nigeria, whose doctrine are repugnant to Quranic injunctions and Islamic jurisprudence.”

Arising from the concerns of the governors, it was decided to establish a regulatory mechanism to consistently monitor the activities of newly registered and unregistered religious organisations in the north.

Shettima disclosed that the governors will also consider the “establishment of a mechanism to ascertain the sources of funding of those groups both local and international,” adding that the activities of new Islamic schools established by any of the sects, as well as, their curriculum would be scrutinized.

Other measures adopted by the governors, include; “facilitating ways of issuing certificates or licenses to prospective preachers; and ensuring that all Islamic schools and religious organisations are duly registered by government, and closure of unregistered ones.”

Shettima pointed out that the report of the committee of Attorneys-General and Commissioners of Justice of Northern states on review of Criminal Justice system in the region, which was submitted to the Forum “highlighted that the existing Penal Code of northern states was reviewed to prescribe precise punishments for crimes such as rape, kidnapping, cattle rustling and terrorism.”


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