Several attempts by critics and agitators to quash the controversial ‘Religious Bill’ proposed by Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State may have hit a huge brick wall as the Governor has confirmed that many state governments are willing to embrace the contents of the Bill as they have requested for a copy to replicate in their states.
Speaking with reporters at Sir Kashim Ibrahim Government House, Kaduna, on Tuesday, the governor averred that the proposed law was sent to the state House of Assembly since October 15, 2015 and was not a new bill as being speculated.
He said: “It was first enacted in 1984 during the term of Air Vice Marshal Usman Mua’zu (rtd) after the Maitsine uprising in 1982. The then military junta saw the need to regulate preaching in some states in the North.
“Many states are ready to do similar thing now. They have asked for the copy of our bill. I will not name the states.”
The governor also reacted to an allegation that made headlines on National dailies and social media that he walked out of a meeting with the vice-president, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, when the VP tried to reach an understanding with him on a particular issue, stressing that the speculation was the handwork of his political detractors.
He said: “I have never attended a meeting where the President and the Vice-President were all in the same room.
“I think the only time where the President and the Vice-president were around and I was in attendance was when the National Economic Council, NEC, was inaugurated by Mr President. He (President) came and delivered his address and left.”
Also, the governor cleared the rumour that he exchanged blows with his deputy, Bala Bandex, saying he had known the deputy governor since 1976 and had never argued with him.
“We think alike and act alike. We are going on weII. I think I did not make him like a spare tyre. If I am leaving the state, I write to the state assembly that he will be acting. He chairs the executive council meetings as well as the security council meeting. I was told this has never happened in Kaduna before and some people are not comfortable with that,” he said.