Borno criminalizes unlicensed public preaching

Government of Borno state had on Sunday said it has banned all forms of religious preaching by unlicensed clerics as a tough measure being taken to curb religious extremism and conflicts.  

The state’s governor, Babagana Zulum, announced the ban during a Borno stakeholders town hall meeting on security where the recent mass surrender of Boko Haram members and the need for their reintegration to society was discussed. 

Humanitarian Times had published a report on how the stakeholders had agreed amidst certain conditions to accept back the repentant insurgents into the society. 

During the meeting that was held at Government House Maiduguri on Sunday some speakers suggested the strengthening of the state preaching board to arrest unlicensed preachers whom they usually ventilate toxic doctrines in the minds of the populace. 

Governor Zulum had in his closing remark at the end of the meeting said he has given the state preaching board all powers to ban all kinds of unlicensed public preaching even as he called on the Jamaatu Nasirul Islam and the Christian Associaton of Nigeria (CAN) forward is going to become somekep

The issue of preaching is in Maiduguri is one is thing that we must be looked at critically; if care is not taken this will also become something else; because I have heard different preachers accusing each and some are even trying to insult each other, while they are trying to preach. 

“I have directed the DSS to arrest all those involved. The preaching service board shall be given all the rights and powers to function. We shall never allow anybody to come to Borno state to preach anyhow – be he Muslim or Christian. This is very important. The Jamaatul Nasirul Islam and the CAN (Christian Association of Nigeria) must write to us, especially the preaching board for permission before there members will be allowed to preach. 

Speakers at the Borno Stakeholders meeting on Sunday had raised concerns over the toxic nature of preaching that has become common in streets and public places of Borno even as they called on government to place a ban on such. Most speakers believe the Boko Haram ideology had its offshoot from such kind of uncensored preaching by “unqualified” clerics

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