The Chairman, Fresh Democratic Party, Pastor Chris Okotie, has advised the Governor of Kaduna State, Nasir el-Rufai, to change his plan to introduce a law that would require preachers to obtain a licence before preaching in the state.
Okotie, in a statement issued by his media aide, Ladi Ayodeji, on Saturday, said the proposed law would adversely affect the image of the All Progressives Congress.
He said, “The governor should also consider that religion is on the exclusive list, and the parameters for effectively executing such a widely berthed licensing action are beyond the purview of government understanding of the numerous religions.
“The criteria for licensing would be impossible for the government to decide.”
Okotie said he was aware that the new law was intended to check the activities of religious extremists in the state, but warned that it could cause an outrage.
The cleric warned that any action that could upset the growing amity between various religious groups in the country must be avoided.
“Instead, we should all unite with the governments in its battle to contain cult
violence, street crimes, kidnapping, child abuse and youth restiveness across the country.
“It is not good for the governor to enact a law that could inflame religious passions at a time when his party, the APC, under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari, appears to be defeating the Boko Haram insurgent, with the hope of their final defeat clearly on the horizon,” the statement added.
Okotie also commiserated with the family of the late Dr. Tunji Braithwaite.