From Ndubuisi Orji, Abuja
The Christian Association of Nigeria(CAN) has rejected the Religious Discrimination (Prohibition and Prevention) bill currently before the House of Representatives.
The CAN president, Rev Samson Ayokunle, said the proposed legislation, which is seeking to legalize the wearing religious emblem such as hijab in schools, work places among other, is a recipe for crisis in the country.
Ayokunle, who stated this in Abuja, on Tuesday, during an advocacy visit to the CAN leadership by the sponsor of the bill, Saidu Abdullahi, charge the House focus on issues that will add value to the country, rather things will create more problems.
He said: “The bill is causing wahala. You don’t sit on my nose because you have a right to sit down.
“Wearing of hijab has not made any student more intelligent. Piety is in the heart. In a multi ethnic nation like ours, school uniform creates uniformity, classless. Once you pass that bill, be prepared for a state of confusion”.
Furthermore, the CAN President stated that “We have laws already that can take care of discrimination and if anybody is discriminated against, the court is open to handle that matter.
“So, why do we still need laws on this issue now? Secondly, the bill if passed into law will enforce discrimination rather than fight against it.”
Earlier, Abdullahi, who represents Bida/Gbako/Katcha federal constituency of Niger, told the CAN leadership, that he was at secretariat of the Christian body to solicit support for the proposed legislation, ahead of the public hearing.
The lawmaker implored the CAN leadership to study the bill and make inputs that will enrich the proposed legislation.
According to him,” a lot of people will say that religious issues are too sensitive to be discussed, but I feel that if you have a problem and you don’t talk about it, you are not likely going to a solution to it. It is in appreciation of that that we came up with a bill which has gone through first and second reading in the House.”