Apostle Johnson Suleiman, the Senior Pastor of Omega Fire Ministries (OFM), with headquaters in Auchi, Edo State and President of Celebration TV has rained curses on Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State, over his directive that pastors and churches must be licenced to preach.
In a video that is being circulated on social media ( Click to watch the video), he warned the governor: “Revoke your law or die!”
Recently, Governor El-Rufai sent a bill to the State House of Assembly to regulate religious preaching across the state. The bill titled: “A bill for a law to substitute the Kaduna State religious preaching law, 1984” is also aimed at banning the usage of loudspeaker for religious purposes “other than inside a Mosques or Church and the surrounding areas outside the stipulated prayer times.”
Government wanted the Assembly to enact the law that will stop the playing or circulating of “all cassettes, CDs, flash drives or any other communication gadgets containing religious recordings from accredited preachers other than inside one’s house, porch, Church, Mosques and other designated place of worship.”
The bill seeks to ban sales or playing of any cassette containing “religious recordings in which abusive language is used against any person or religious organisation or religious leaders (past or present).”
The bill, if pasted into law, will prohibit sales of religious books, usage of abusive and derogatory terms in describing any religion.
The bill propose that any person found guilty of preaching without a valid licence and other offences under the law “shall be liable to two years in prison or pay a fine of N200, 000.”
Although Pastor Suleiman did not oppose sanitising the state in many areas, he was angry about the issue of “preaching by licence.”
Suleiman said further that there were men of God before El-Rufai was governor and there will be men of God after he leaves. “Why not tell herbalists to obtain licence before they practise their herbalism? Why not tell witches that they need licence to fly?”, the pastor asked rhetorically.
He added that asking a pastor to obtain licence is against the Constitution of Nigeria, “When you say licence, you are acting against freedom of worship”. He asked the governor to stay off his plan, “unless you want your cabinet to reduce…people may just sleep without waking up”.