‘You Are A Governor And Not An Emperor’ Catholic Church Tells El-Rufai. Urges Buhari To Revisit National Confab

Paul Obi in Abuja

Following the move by the Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El Rufai to regulate the practice of religion through a bill set to be enacted, the Catholic Church yesterday confronted the governor, stressing that, no governor elected can become an emperor.

At a briefing in Abuja, Caritas International, a department under the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) explained that El Rufai must tread with caution in his approach to strangulate the religious freedoms of Kaduna citizens.

Director of Caritas International, Rev. Fr Evaristus Bassey said though “religious miscreants have caused a lot of havoc in our Nigeria. It does appear however that the measures proposed are an overkill.

“The danger in Nigeria is the manipulation of structures and institutions by strong individuals. Thus, the fear is that even if the proposed bill contains good aims, the proposed restrictions would play into the hands of officials of state who have a hegemonic mentality and would allow them the freedom to persecute one religion in favour of another,” Bassey maintained.

He said: “The principle of separation of state and Church/Mosque which springs from the supposed secularity of the Nigerian constitution would be severely battered if this bill is pursue in the way it is.

“Governor El Rufai, who is quite dogged in the pursuit of anything,  given this tool, would pursue ardently both what is good and what may be divisive.

“We advise that Kaduna State rely on existing laws and existing state instruments of law enforcement, to maintain religious harmony in Kaduna State instead of reinventing the wheel.”

He contended that “the majority of Kaduna people appear not to want this law, and their wishes should be respected, as no governor is an emperor but an elected official who should defer to the people’s will.

“The people’s will is sovereign;  because of the potential abuses this bill could bring when it becomes law, we opine that it is not necessary, ” Bassey stated.

As a strategy to resolving this constitutional logjam on religion, the Catholic Church further tasked President Muhammadu Buhari to revisit the report of the national conference organised by the last administration.

According to Bassey “Nigerian citizens should continue to engage political and state structures to become institutions which are guided by the rule of law.

“The President Buhari led administration should revisit the provisions of the national conference and institute measures which should stand Nigeria on the pillar of justice and peace.

“Presently, our constitution is like a hermaphrodite, neither completely secular nor religious. A secular constitution guarantees the rights and dignity of all under the law.

The church also bemoaned the ill-treatment of women in many cultures and communities, describing it as “a symptom of the overall deficiency in the respect for life which engenders a mindset that sees life as dispensable.
They argued that the “underlying materialistic attitude” of society “sees the female specie not as fully human but as an object for male gratification.”

Bassey urged government and traditional institutions to be in the forefront of promoting the advancement of the girl-child and the female gender.

14 thoughts on “‘You Are A Governor And Not An Emperor’ Catholic Church Tells El-Rufai. Urges Buhari To Revisit National Confab

  1. Lawrence says:

    The Kaduna state governor El-rufai want to create trouble for the Christian citizens of the state, can he do it to the Muslim society of the state,

  2. Okpapa says:

    I really am in support of what the writer says that He is a governor and not an emperor. But to my surprise I don’t know how he didn’t realise that he’s actually acting as a governor and not as an emperor by presenting the bill to the house for legislation by the representatives of the people of the state which consist of both Muslims and Xtians, Old and young, men and women. if he’s acting as an Emperor, he wouldn’t do so. he’d have made the statement as a law.

    • Have you ever seen representatives in any state debating a bill? the governor is the executive, the legislature and the judicial in Nigeria. He has the money to buy the conscience of the assembly and to manipulate the will of the people. After all what is in the north and kaduna in particular gives the governor the opportunity to do what he wants. For example, out of the 23 local or counties in Kaduna, only seven are from the southern part as created by the military and who were they? So to say that he sent a bill to presume he is acting as a governor, is just a formality. So if I as a governor can not implement the constitution of the nation which sets or defines a government, then why a governor? He should go after those who are breaking the laws not punishing the guilty and the innocent. Kaduna is a complex state and I believed El-rufai toward his last bus stop. We are watching and waiting.

  3. Jerome tunde says:

    Oh thank God a body is out again to condemn this bill.
    They are at it again,and for some there is nothing bad about this.
    We are still suffering because of boko haram caused by somebody and propagated by some group of elites in the north
    Let us come and say no now.

  4. Elijah says:

    All these leaders against Christianity, from Nigeria and all over the world.
    By my word U all will be dying one by one, mysterious death for that matter..u people are opposing the worship of Ur Creator.. So therefore u all are useless if u continue to live….Revelation 4 vs 11…

  5. Elijah says:

    El rufai have u produce ur license for breathing, have u produce ur license for the water u drink free of charge.
    Don’t worry stroke will come on U..

  6. Anonymous says:

    There are so many things to be done in Kaduna State. Sometimes I wonder if our leaders really have eyes to see. They keep chasing shadows and misusing their power.

    • Absolutely, this is why these governors and other leaders never come up with meaning ideas on how to create jobs and opportunities for their constituents. One wonders why they have never created avenues for investors to come in to invest and create jobs. This is due to the fact that they are far more interested in creating more contentious populist petty agenda, which are amied at polarising the communities for their own interests.

  7. patrick Peter says:

    Nothing is new under the earth… From old Testament to the New Testament…God is still God…Time shall tell…

  8. Anonymous says:

    Rufai your end has come and your days are number as you have rise against the image God the affliction of Egyptian will catch up with you

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