Home / Faith / Fresh Party’s Okotie cautions El-Rufai on Preachers’ license; Mourns Tunji Braithwaite
Rev. Chris Okotie

Fresh Party’s Okotie cautions El-Rufai on Preachers’ license; Mourns Tunji Braithwaite

Rev. Chris Okotie
Rev. Chris Okotie
The Fresh Democratic Party, FRESH, has advised the embattled Governor of Kaduna State, Nasir El-Rufai, to rethink his plan to introduce a law that would require preachers – Christians and Muslims – to obtain a license before preaching in the state.
A bill to this effect has reportedly been sent to the State Assembly, consequently, the PFN, CAN and other religious bodies across the country have kicked against the proposed law.
According to the FRESH Chairman, Rev. Chris Okotie, in a statement issued by his publicist, Ladi Ayodeji, the proposed preachers’ license law is potentially combustible and could adversely affect the good image President Muhammadu Buhari is building for Nigeria, after decades of negative perception by the international community.
The Governor should also consider that religion is on government’s exclusive list, and the parameters for effectively executing such a widely berthed licensing action, without stepping into the murky waters with accusations of selectivism, is beyond the purview of government understanding of the numerous religions.
The criteria for licensing, as enunciated by each religion, especially as it transcends just Christianity and Islam, would be impossible for the government to put together.
Okotie said that he is aware that the new law is intended to check the activities of religious extremists in the state, following the recent bloody clashes between the Army and a Muslim sect, but insisted that there are enough laws in the statute books already to deal with sectarian crisis if they are enforced stridently.
“It is ill-advised for the Governor to enact a law that could inflame religious passions at a time when his party, the APC, under the leadership of President Buhari, appears to have defanged the terrorist Boko Haram insurgents, with a real hope of their final defeat clearly on the horizon,” the FRESH chairman said.
Rev. Okotie warned that any action that could upset the growing amity between various religious groups in the country must be avoided. “Instead, we should all unite with the governments in its battle to contain cult violence, street crimes, kidnapping, child abuse and youth restiveness across the country,” he added.

In another development, the FRESH party Chairman, Rev. Okotie has commiserated with the family of Dr. Tunji Braithwaite, on the death of the legal icon and politician.
“Dr. Braithwaite was a friend of the masses, a genuine democrat, defender of human rights and one of the few public figures who spoke truth to power. My heart goes out to the family, and I pray that God takes his soul,” the pastor- politician said in the tribute.
Rev. Okotie recalled that Dr. Braithwaite stood by FRESH during its legal battle to reclaim the party, after INEC deregistered it in 2012. “He fought on our side along with top human right activists until we finally got our party relisted by the electoral agency,” he added.

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