A prominent Islamic scholar based in Kaduna, Sheikh Haliru Abdullahi Maraya, has urged Governor Nasir El-Rufai to drop any idea of appealing the judgment of the State High Court that banned the issuance of license to religious preachers in the state.
According to him, 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.
Naija News reports Sheikh Maraya, is also a former Special Adviser to former Governors Patrick Yakowa and Mukhtar Yero on Islamic Matters.
Maraya submitted that appealing the judgment would amount to embarking on an exercise in futility for the state Governor.
“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.”
Speaking further in a chat with Daily Post, he recalled, “l could remember vividly in 2016 during the breaking of a fast in the month of Ramadan, l was asked to speak on behalf of those invited by Governor El-Rufai and I asserted 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.”
“Additionally, prior to the passing of the judgment, l granted interviews where l asserted my position that the fundamental human rights of Nigerians to practice the religion of their choice and also to propagate it would be trampled upon with the passage of the Religious Bill by the former State House of Assembly if assented to by governor El-Rufai to become a law.”
Further adding his voice to the planned issuing of licence to religious preachers in Kaduna state, the Sheikh said, “The aforementioned Section, in other words, 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.”
“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.”
“The government should not be dabbling into the affairs of religion. It should not adopt any religion(s) as a state religion(s) as 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.
“For a government to embark on screening and licensing religious preachers, one can say that such a government has adopted a state religion which is contrary to the constitution of the land.”
The religious leader also called on Muslims, Christians, and adherents of other religions all over the world to live harmoniously with one another.