Islamic scholar says el-Rufai rooting for state religion

June 27, 2019
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After losing at the Kaduna High Court last week, the Kaduna state executive and legislature are allegedly dusting up their files to appeal the ruling that nullified the Religious Preaching Bill the government was pushing.

But an Islamic scholar in Kaduna has advised Gov. Nasir el-Rufai to not embark on what the scholar described as an exercise in futility.

According to Sheikh Haliru Abdullahi Maraya, issuing a license to preachers before they would be permitted to propagate their religion and belief was inconsistent with section 38(1) of the 1999 constitution as amended.

Maraya was a special advisers to former governors like the late Patrick Makowa and Mukhtar Yero.

The cleric has also guested in occasions el-Rufai himself organizes.

“Definitely, in the event the government appeals against the judgment, the Court of Appeal will affirm the judgment of the State High Court as preaching is a right given to Nigerians by section 38(1) of the 1999 constitution as amended,” he said in a recent statement.

Maraya said he personally warned the governor in 2016, asserting that that issuing license to preachers before they would be permitted to propagate their religion and belief was inconsistent with section 38(1) of the 1999 constitution as amended.

“The recent judgment on the issuance of license has vindicated me,” he told the Daily Post.

Arguing, Maraya section 38 (1) gives Nigerians the right to preach without any license, therefore, the Court of Appeal will affirm the judgment of the High Court because it is based on the aforementioned section of the constitution.

“Undoubtedly, the constitution shall prevail whenever any other law becomes inconsistent with it. This is the position of section 1(3) of the 1999 constitution as amended,” he added.

“A Muslim does not need a license to invite people to do what is good and also to keep away from doing what is bad, the Muslims don’t need a license to do it.”

He warned the government to stop dabbling into the affairs of religion. and should not adopt any religion(s) as a state religion(s)

“Doing such is contrary to section 10 of the 1999 constitution as amended. That the government of the federation or state shall not adopt any religion as a state religion.”

To start licensing and screening preachers, he said, is like adopting a state religion, and it is contrary to the constitution of the land.

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