By NBF News

The raging controversy over the law banning open-air preaching in Katsina State, promulgated recently, has been blamed on lack of adequate consultations with interest groups in the state.

An Islamic scholar, Gambo Tudunwada made the assertion in Katsina on Sunday at the meeting organised by the state branch of the Jama'atul Nasrul Islam (JNI). It would be recalled that the law officially tagged Katsina State Religious Education and Preaching Board and for Incidental Matters Law seeks to regulate religious activities in the state.

Tudunwada said there was no involvement of scholars from all the Islamic sects in the state. According to him, the state government should have invited all the Ulamas to intimate them on its plan to enact such a law.

'The state government should have done what late President Umaru Yar'Adua did when he was the governor of the state and he introduced the Sharia law,' Tudunwada said. According to him, the late Yar'Adua handed over the issue of Sharia introduction to the Islamic scholars whom he (Yar'Adua) said were responsible for its implementation as they deemed fit.

The cleric also noted that the state government should have publicised its plans to promulgate the preaching law in the media so as to enlighten the public. In his contribution, Malam Kabir Ibrahim, an Islamic scholar from Rimi, called on the state government to bridge the communication gap between it and the entire Ulamas in the state.

'This is very essential, especially on issues relating to Islam,' he said.

In his address, the state governor, Alhaji Ibrahim Shema, represented by his deputy, Barr. Abdullahi Garba said the law was intended to improve Islamic education, Islamiyya schools and preaching, among others .