By Umar Salam.
The Kaduna State House of Assembly has passed the Religious Preaching Regulation bill into law.
According to reports, the Bill which was brought to the House of Assembly in 2016, was passed just a few hours before the dissolution of the eighth Assembly yesterday.
The bill was endorsed by the House despite being opposed by both Muslim and Christian bodies in the state.
The Kaduna State Government had in 2016 explained that the bill is meant to “regulate religious preaching in order to promote religious harmony and peaceful coexistence and not to stipple religious freedom.”
The Speaker of the Kaduna State House of Assembly, Alhaji Aminu Shagali, read out the clauses of the bill before it was passed into law.
“The bill when signed into law, stipulates that in each of the 23 local Government areas of the state, a committee to be known as the Local Government Interfaith Committee has to be established.
“The Local Government Interfaith Committee shall consider and recommend to state Interfaith Regulation Council all applications for the grant of licence to religious preachers as well as screen and recommend preachers for the grant of license among other functions.
“The supplementary provision provides that all cassettes, CDs, flash drives or any other communication gadgets containing religious recordings from accredited preachers may be played inside a private dwelling unit or vehicle, entrance porch (zaure), church, mosque and any other designated place of worship.
“Any person who plays religious cassette or uses a loud speaker for religious purposes between the hours of 11pm to 4am in a public place, and uses a loudspeaker for religious purposes other than inside church or mosque commits an offence and shall on conviction be liable to imprisonment for a term of not less than two years or pay a fine of not less than N200,000 or both”, the bill stated.