Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, the Kaduna state governor, has reacted to criticisms against his proposed controversial religious bill in the state, describing the critics as ignorant, and reactions disproportionate. In an interview with journalists at the Government House, Kaduna, on Tuesday evening, El-Rufai said the philosophy behind the executive bill, which is awaiting the third reading in the state House of Assembly, was to ensure that citizens of the state live in peace. According to El-Rufai, the reaction was just disproportionate and many of the people who are talking about the Bill have never even read it.
“If you read that Bill, it is very short, it is 16 sections. Read it; tell me what you don’t like. Don’t say you don’t like the entire law because we know we have a problem and I am the governor and I need a solution. So don’t say the solution is not to have the law. Tell me what you don’t like (about the Bill) and we can discuss it. Tell me what is against your religion, we can discuss it.”
He stressed that his government does not have any ulterior motive other than to put a framework that will ensure that Kaduna state citizens live in peace with every one practicing his religion, but disallowing every Tom, Dick and Harry to come and say he can preach.
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The governor further urged people to get a copy and read it before taking a position. Since the announcement of the proposed religious bill, religious clerics have come out in force to condemn the bill. In unwavering tone, they warned the governor to stop his chaotic move and allow Islam and Christianity to operate unhindered in the state as any attempt by the governor to place rules on its operation was tantamount to occupying a position seen as anti-religious. One of such famous attacks on Gov El-Rufai’s bill is that of Apostle Johnson Suleiman who called the governor to a challenge and warned him to revoke the bill or die.