A member of the House of Representatives, Mr Musa Saidu Abdullahi, who sponsored the bill seeking to enforce hijab wearing for female Muslims in public places, on Tuesday, met with the national leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria, where he explained the rationale behind the proposal.
The Christian body, however, expressed its reservations about the bill, stating that Nigeria already had laws that protect citizens from any form of discrimination, including religion.
The body, therefore urged the sponsor, and National Assembly members by extension, to focus on the more pressing issues in the country, including insecurity.
Abdullahi, who is representing Bida/Gbako/Katcha Federal Constituency in Niger State, has sponsored the Religious Discrimination (Prohibition and Prevention) Bill 2021, which has passed first and second readings.
In his opening remarks, Abdullahi partly said, “I see a problem that has become a big challenge and we have shied away from it over the years. It is the issue of religious discrimination. So, we came up with a proposal to address religious discrimination in this country.”
The President of CAN said, “This bill is a small thing; let us make it a comprehensive thing that any right-thinking person will read and will say ‘this is moving the Nigeria nation forward.’ Please, Honourable, I am appealing to you and your colleagues to help us find a way to put an end to insecurity in this country.
“The body language does not suggest that we want to put an end to it. We are hearing from the corridors of power that the money voted for security is being diverted. If you see the investment we are losing because of insecurity…Even religious tourism is very difficult now because of insecurity.”
He added, “We need to create employment opportunities. Unemployment is fuelling insecurity because the terrorist and bandits are able to recruit with easy, unengaged hands. They give them little money, they are satisfied. But the government is not doing that.”