Daily Trust (Abuja)

2 February 2013

Nigeria: Sultan Denies Call for Licensing of Preachers

Kaduna — The Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa'ad Abubakar, has denied media reports that he called for licensing of preachers.

A statement signed by the Secretary-General of the Jama'atu Nasril Islam (JNI), Dr. Khalid Abubakar Aliyu yesterday in Kaduna stressed that the Sultan was represented at the occasion and that the position advanced was not that of the Sultan.

According to the statement, "the attention of JNI headquarters, has been drawn to a news item in the online edition of the Vanguard and Leadership newspapers of January 31st, 2013. The papers reported that the Sultan of Sokoto has called for the Licensing of Preachers, in a good will message he presented at the opening ceremony of a two day peace and security summit, organized by NBA on Wednesday January 30th, in Abuja.

"To put records straight, the Sultan did not attend the occasion in person, but asked a senior traditional ruler to represent him, who also couldn't attend but asked another person to represent him.

"It is very clear that the representative of the Sultan was expressing his personal opinion on a matter that was completely not related to the message he went to present on behalf of the Sultan.

"JNI under the Sultan is always in contact with the Ulama/preachers as stake holders, in ensuring effective carrying out of preaching activities in a proper manner. Therefore the issue of licensing preachers by government does not arise. Government must therefore stay clear out of such activities," the statement said.

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