”Religion Has Been Weaponized”- Gov El-Rufai Laments About Level Of Religious Crisis In Kaduna State
Governor Nasir El-Rufai has condemned the state’s high degree of religious crisis.
Over the years, the North-Central state has seen an unusual amount of religious confrontations, primarily between Muslims and Christians.
El-Rufai, speaking at the state’s Council To Regulate Religious Preaching, said it’s unfortunate that religion has become so militarized that something that should bring God’s creatures united is now tearing them apart.
”Most of the residents of Kaduna State are very religious, like other Nigerians. But Kaduna State is unfortunately one of the states in the country with a sad history of religious clashes. The personal exercise of faith and the better conduct and character that spirituality promotes helps society to progress. But religion has unfortunately been weaponized so much that something that should bring God’s creatures closer together in a common awareness of mortal frailties has become a device to question the right of some of God’s creatures to even exist at all, let alone practice their faith or live wherever they wish.”
The governor claimed that the law regulating preaching in the state has been in place since 1984, but that his government now believes it is appropriate to completely enact it as a tool to address the state’s religious issue.
”It was in 1984 that the government of Air Vice Marshall Usman Muazu enacted the Religious Preaching Edict to address this matter. Subsequent military governors amended the edict to vary the penalty imposed for violations of its provisions.
This is a law that has always been in the statute book of Kaduna State but it has not been implemented faithfully. We decided in 2016 to review this edict and subject a revised law to the scrutiny of an elected legislature for the first time. We have now a religious preaching law, and we are determined to do our best to help stamp out the poison from the negative practice of religion. Religion is a relationship with God, not a bargaining tool for economic or political favours, and certainly not an excuse for murder, arson, destruction of property and other violent crimes against people who worship and pray differently.”he said