by Achadu Gabriel, Kaduna
For allegedly passing and signing the controversial religious Regulatory Bill, Chairman of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) Kaduna State, Rev. John Joseph Hayab, has cast doubt on the existence of Kaduna State House of Assembly.
The CAN chairman, who made the assertion in an interview during a Special Thanksgiving Service and Prayers organised by CAN on Sunday, in Kaduna, said the religious bill was earlier contested in court and judgment was delivered against government.
The chairman explained that the government went on and appealed through the back door against the lower court judgment, but expressed surprise that the bill was passed, while they were waiting for appeal court call up for sitting. He said their lawyer was given everything required to follow up the case to Appeal Court, only to have heard about the recent signing of the bill.
According to him, “The laws in Kaduna State currently are being done in the bedroom of somebody, written by person or group of persons and taken to Speaker or few persons in the House of Assembly.”
He also lamented that “Everybody is so scared, including members of the Assembly, because government has put fears into them, and they become rubber-stamp. “I can say this with boldness; let them come out and deny it. They can only deny it to cover up, if they do, because they know I’m saying the truth.
“So, they’re just rubber-stamping whatever is given to them. That bill was actually passed on the day they were even rounding up,” he queried.
Rev. Hayap also argued that government cannot regulate pastors and churches because it’s ignorant of their operations, and reiterated the plans to still challenge the bill in court.
“Let the state come out with bills or laws that will bring an end to bandits and kidnappers and killings, and not to regulate religion as if preaching is the cause of bandits and kidnapping in the state.”
According to him, some members of the regulatory body are not even qualified and know nothing, but did not want to talk before it’ll be misconstrued for envy for not been appointed members of the committee.
At the Special Service held at ECWA Goodness, Narayi High Cost Kaduna, themed ‘Given Thanks in All Circumstances,’ Rev. Hayap said it was based on the fact that in every circumstances people give thanks to God (quoting from the book of 1 Thess.5:28).
On the impact of shutting down network in some parts of the state, banning of motorcycles and restrictions of tricycles, the CAN chairman said the bandits are (still) having a field day, despite the measures, saying the action will increase more poverty and inflict pains on residents, adding that the situation is also leading to the height in crimes and banditry.
Bandits, he said, last two weeks kidnapped about 46 persons in a community in Gwagwada area of Chikun local government of the state, and even went to the houses and collected the ransom they were contributing to give them last Saturday, saying up till date, the victims remain in captivity.