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El-Rufai to Pastor: Tell me the date I will die

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El-Rufai to Pastor: Tell me the date I will die

Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, has challenged the Christian clergy that predicted he was going to die to also reveal the date, if he is truly the Apostle he claims to be.

El-Rufai, who stated this in an interview, has been under serious fire since he proposed the state’s preaching bill, with many accusing him of trying to Islamise the state and curb religious violence.

El-Rufai, who is adamant on the enforcement of the law, also insisted that most of the people who have been clamouring against the bill are those “who call themselves Christians clergies”, insisting that the bill is not about curbing or regulating religion but those who preach.

“I have not seen anyone talking about Islam actually. Most of the people that say I would die, as if I would not die, are people who call themselves Christian clergy. Of course, I will die. If that apostle is truly an apostle, he should mention the day I will die”, El-Rufai said.

Read also: Youths protest one year power outage in Kaduna community

According to the governor, there is nothing in the law that prevents or infringes the practice of religion, as it only seeks to ensure that those that preach religion are qualified, trained and certified by their peers to do it.

“And some sections of the media have made it as if the law was drafted against Christianity. It is most irresponsible and I have nothing to say except to leave the matter to God”.

On the reason for the law, El-Rufai said the law became necessary because of the experiences that state had in the past.

According to him, aside Yobe, Borno and Adamawa, no state in Nigeria have had more deaths occasioned by religion.

“More people have been killed in Kaduna from the words that people have said. And if you go back in history to when the Maitasine incident happened; he was a Cameroonian that came to Nigeria and started preaching. The Emir of Kano had him deported back to Cameroon. After that, he managed to smuggle himself back again and continued preaching. He was preaching a version of Islam that was intolerant, a version that called other Muslims pagans and so on.

“But in spite of what he was preaching, he acquired followers and we all know what happened. Military operation had to be mounted to flush them out. Those that escaped from the Maitasine crisis moved to Borno State and started the Kalakato sect, which again led to many deaths and destruction in the early 1990s.

“All these came from people that were not trained in religious matters, people that woke up and started preaching and acquiring followers and inevitably their sects grew in large numbers to threaten communities and there were clashes”.

Continuing, the governor said it was lack of regulation that caused the faceoff between the Shi’ite and the military in Zaria.

El-Rufai, who said he believes that whoever wants to preach under any religion should firs undergo a system of education, training and some kind of certification, said the state security council came up with the law because new sects were already springing up in the state.

“There is one around Makarfi called Gausiyya, they do their Zuhr prayer around 11am, different from other Muslims. This is how this thing starts and if you don’t resolve it quickly, it grows into something else.

“A woman in Makarfi said Prophet Muhammad (SAW) was speaking to her and sick people started going to her for their healing. The husband of this woman was busy collecting N1,000 as consultancy fee before people could see his wife. We had to take steps to end that movement because before you know it, people would start coming from far and wide and this woman would become our next problem”, El-Rufai said.

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