Plateau State Governor Simon Lalong has indicated that his administration will enforce the laws regulating religious preaching to guard against hate speech and to stave off religious crises. “Here, we are keeping to the old law regulating religious activities,” the governor said when he met with newsmen at a parley organised to mark his one year in office. “Whether you like it or not, we must implement some of the rules,” he added.
Lalong was responding to a question on whether the state would introduce legislations to regulate religious preaching as done in the neighbouring Kaduna State, where Governor Nasir el-Rufai sent an executive bill to regulate public preaching.
Lalong said Plateau would not initiate a bill for such a law, but added that there was already a law to regulate public preaching by religious organisations. He said the state would not hold back from enforcing the law. “Because there was no regulation, we had this case of Boko Haram from the grassroots. It metamorphosed into what we are going through now,” Lalong said, recalling that in his time as speaker of the state legislature, the House had responded to pressures from concerned persons to initiate and pass a law in that regard.