Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State has warned that a new deadly Islamic group, Gausiyya is springing up in Markafi Local Government Area of the state.
The governor said this in a radio interview during the weekend, while justifying the need to regulate religious activities in the state.
“We had a security report that a new Islamic organization called GAUSIYYA is springing up in one of our local government areas, precisely Makarfi,” El-Rufai said.
“After studying the group’s activities, we understand that it is not a sect that we should allow to stay in our state. They preach contrary to the teachings of Islam and are gradually recruiting youth in the name of religion.
“We have decided to stop the group and their activities before they grew and become a problem for the state. Negligence is what brought about the Maitatsine in the 80’s and the Boko Haram insurgents we are now fighting.”
“The state government will not be responsible for issuing any license to preaching bodies or a new preacher who just surfaces.
“A committee that will consist of clerics nominated by the Jama’atu Nasril Islam, JNI, and the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, will issue religious bodies permits depending on their faith.
“To curtail the excesses of this growing sect, we came up with the proposed law to regulate religious activities in the state.”
A fortnight ago, El-Rufai had forwarded a Religious Regulation Bill, 2016, to the state House of Assembly, a move that was greeted with outrage and criticism by individuals, religious leaders and rights activists across the country.
The proposed law seeks to regulate religious activities, especially preaching, and to provide sanctions for its violation.
The proposed bill even led to a religious leader, Apostle Johnson Suleiman declaring before his congregants that the state governor will die if he does not revoke the law.
The leader of the Omega Fire Ministry, with headquarters in Auchi, who accused El-Rufai of trying to use the law to intimidate the Christian faithful in the state, said if he doesn’t “revoke the law he will die.”