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Public preaching in Kaduna will soon be restricted as only state-licensed preachers, either Muslim or Christians, will have the permission to preach.

And any person or group using loudspeakers for religious purposes, outside of the pace of worship, shall be fined or jailed.

The Religious Preaching Regulation law, 1984, which was brought before the Kaduna State House of Assembly in 2016, was passed to law on Friday.

The bill seeks to regulate religious preaching in the state.

Kaduna is known as a hotspot of religious violence in Nigeria, and the bill was proposed  to promote religious harmony and peaceful co-existence amongst the residents of the state.

Speaker Aminu Abdullahi Shagali while reading the bill  said a state inter-faith Regulatory council has been established with a chairman to be appointed by the governor on the recommendation of the secretary to the state.

Two members representing the Christian and Muslim faith, respectively, will also be appointed by the Governor, among others.

According to the Speaker, the council shall hear and determine appeals brought before it arising from the decision of the local government inter-faith committee. It also has power to issue regulations considered necessary to guide the state inter-faith council and local government inter-faith committee in the performance of their functions under the bill if signed into law.

In each of the 23 local government areas of the state, a committee to be known as the Local Government Inter-faith Committee has to be established

The local Inter-faith committee shall consider and recommend to state Inter-faith 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 states that all cassettes, compact disks (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 less than N200,000.00 or both.

Also in the bill, it is stated that any person who publicly insults or seeks to incite contempt any religion, by making false statements in such a manner as to be likely to lead to a breach of peace, shall be punished with imprisonment for a term of not less than five years a fine of not less than N100,000.00 or both

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