|Tuesday, March 22, 2016
Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN) condemns El-Rufai’s preaching bill
Godwin Isenyo, Kaduna
The Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria in Kaduna State has described the controversial Religious Preaching Bill, currently before the Kaduna State House of Assembly, as obnoxious.
“Taking away our rights to preach and evangelise is telling us not to practise our religion as we are commanded by the Lord Jesus,” the PFN’s Chairman in the state, Prof. Femi Ehimidu, said at a press conference at the Household of Love Church, Sabo-Tasha in Kaduna on Monday.
The state government’s team, led by the deputy governor, Yusuf Bala, had told a delegation of the state chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria that the bill, when passed into law, would curb religious extremism and hate speech.
But Ehimidu said the bill must be killed before being passed into law as according to him, it harbours the latent explosives to set the state on fire.
He said the bill was unacceptable to the Pentecostal Christians in the state, declaring that the religious body (PFN) would do everything possible to resist the bill becoming a law.
The PFN boss, however, ruled out any mass action against the government on the controversial matter.
Ehimidu noted that the bill was not only obnoxious but directly offended the Christian faith.
According to the chairman, the bill is completely against the nation’s constitution, the rights of Christians to practise their religion and should be jettisoned.
The cleric feared that with the bill, El-Rufai had opened another vista of hostilities between the Christians and the Muslims in the face of discriminatory implementation of the proposed law.
He said it was unimaginable for El-Rufai to exhume a military edit, which came into being when the constitution was suspended, arguing that it “smacks of mischief.”
The PFN called on well-meaning Nigerians to prevail on the governor to withdraw the controversial bill currently before the state House of Assembly.
Ehimidu added, “We do not see any reason why restricting and regulating religious activities should be the government of Kaduna State’s priority when the issue prevailing in the state currently for every family is how to put food on the table.
“Even the Nigerian constitution guarantees the freedom of worship and our rights to propagate our religious beliefs. The Kaduna State Government is not wiser than the whole lot of eminent Nigerians who gave the nation the constitution.”