The Senate considers a bill establishing the Commission for Religious Harmony

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The Senate on Wednesday considered a bill to create the National Religious Harmony Commission to promote religious tolerance in the country.

The bill titled ‘National Commission for Religious Harmony (Establishment) Bill 2022’, was sponsored by Senator representing Kwara North, Sadiq Suleiman Umar, and was the subject of a second reading in plenary.

Dwelling on the general principles of the Bill, Umar said the establishment of the Commission would serve as an intervention to promote religious tolerance, peace and harmony in Nigeria.

According to Umar, the Charter of the United Nations and several provisions of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) are based on the principles of the dignity and equality of all human beings.

He explained that the UN Charter seeks to promote and respect human rights and fundamental freedoms for all without distinction of race, sex, language or religion.

The Senator said, “Having realized the sensitive role that religion plays in national security, peace and harmony, the federal government wishes to promote interfaith harmony and understanding due to the checkered history of intolerance. religion in Nigerian politics”.

He added that the NRHC Establishment Bill seeks to create an enabling environment for the peaceful co-existence of different religious beliefs in Nigeria and to provide a forum for public information and dialogue.

Umar said the establishment of the Commission would limit controversy and confrontation over allegations of discrimination based on religious beliefs, thereby controlling the insidious effects of religious bigotry, profiling, stereotyping, violence, discrimination. discrimination, extremism and hate speech.

Referring to some of its responsibilities, the Senator said the Commission would protect religious freedom rights, provide assistance to victims of religious discrimination or violations, investigate cases of religious extremism and hate speech, and detect and would reduce early warning signals of acts that could trigger religious tensions in the country.

After consideration, the bill was referred by Senate Speaker Ahmad Lawan to the Establishment and Public Service Affairs Committee for legislative input.

The Senate instructed the committee to report in four weeks.

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