We know the events of the recent past that led to this decision by our governors. Although we have reservations about this decision but sometimes if you are in a leadership position and there are challenges like this, you just have to find something to do. Or start acting in a way that you think that can curb this kind of crisis. But I believe that the implementation of this kind of decision will be a very Herculean task. If you say that traditional rulers should regulate preaching, probably you fail to understand the difficulties that they are going to face. It is not completely true that every traditional ruler in the north is a Muslim.
If a traditional ruler who is a Christian and tries to regulate the activities of Muslim preachers, this will in itself bring another new crisis. And if a traditional ruler that is a Christian wants to regulate the activities of a Christian preacher, this will also bring abut another crisis. So, it is wrong to use crisis to quell crisis; we should rather use a peaceful way of resolving it. So, I believe the governors probably didn’t look at this issue; if it is what they said, probably at the time of implementation they will have to sit on a round table.
Both Muslims and Christians should sit down and see how preaching can be regulated. There is nothing really new about regulating preaching. In Christianity, you can not be called a preacher except you are licensed by a denomination that is registered by the Corporate Affairs Commission. We already have a proper regulatory process; pastors must have gone through training where they learn the ethics of homily and they preach the word of God.
Christianity has its own fair share of denominations that are on the extreme fringe, are you also saying that their churches also regulate the activities of the pastors?
Of course their denominations are registered with corporate affairs, so their denominations regulate the preaching. If you claim to be a preacher and you are bearing their name and they don’t know you, they can disown you!
What we are saying is that denominations train their pastors and they train them in the ethics of preaching, presenting God’s words in a loving, simple, caring manner. And because they have been trained and equipped, they go out and disseminate the word without incitement. Any man who jumps from talking about Jesus Christ, dabbling into issues of other faiths, he is probably not a trained pastor; he does not even understand what preaching is all about.
If government approaches it this way, religious bodies will definitely support them but to ask a traditional ruler to regulate the activities of preachers, I beg to disagree with that because it will create more crisis than achieve results.