A delegation of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has met with Acting President Yemi Osinbajo behind closed doors at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The delegation was led by the CAN President, Rev Dr Samson Olasupo Ayokunle.
At the meeting held on Wednesday, CAN made five demands in a letter delivered to the Acting President.
TheNation Newspaper reports that the five demands, which were obtained on Thursday night include:
“Change obnoxious curriculum that demands students study Islamic Arabic Studies
“Arrest and prosecute murderous herdsmen
“Arrest and prosecute those who called for the expulsion of Igbos
“Turn our youths into Entrepreneurs
“Stop kidnapping on our roads.”
The text of the speech by Ayokunle reads in part:
“We are here to point your attention to a time-bomb, obnoxious, divisive and ungodly secondary school curriculum that the Federal Ministry of Education is introducing into our schools and of which we had earlier complained to the Presidency. Then, if I am not mistaking, it was suspended but has again been re-introduced without any review at all. This curriculum the brain-child of Nigerian Educational Research Council, an agency of the Federal Ministry of Education. To us in Christian Association of Nigeria, it’s introduction is an ill-wind that blows nobody any good for so many reasons. Lead a State has started implementing it already and Christians that are more on the receiving side of it are already crying fowl because of its potential dangers now or in the future.
“In this curriculum, Islamic and Christian Religious Studies will no longer be studied in schools as subjects on their own but as themes in a civic education. This is undermine the sound mitral values that these two subjects had imparted in the past to our children which had made us to religiously and ethnically co-exist without any tension. It was some three or two decades ago when our education planners started removing the teaching of religious values through the cancellation of morning devotion in schools that all these violence by youths in different forms came on board. I was in a meeting yesterday with some Muslim leaders where one of them also expressed his fears about the dangers in this new curriculum. As prophets to the nation, we demand a complete withdraw and ban of this curriculum. If allowed to be implemented, it would lead us to a godless nation with violence and all forms of ungodliness as the order of the day.
“Furthermore sir, this curriculum went ahead to introduce Islamic Arabic Studies in another section together with French and made one of the two compulsory for the student. You are aware that we have very low percentage of French teachers in all our secondary schools in Nigeria. I am sure that over 80% of our secondary schools do not have French teachers at all but have Arabic teachers. The implication is that Christian students would have no choice than to study Arabic. If a Christian student voluntarily goes to study Islamic Religious Studies, there is nothing bad in that because some of us in both religions had done that before for better understanding, however, where the student is tactically forced into studying it because the alternative subject does not have teacher to teach it, it is a great problem tending to Islamization.
“Still in this curriculum, Islamic Religious Knowledge was equally made available as a subject in another section without any corresponding availability of Christian Religious Knowledge. Is this not a divisive curriculum that can set the nation on fire? Is this fair to millions of Christians in this nation? A Christian student in a secondary school in Kwara State had the body lacerated with cane by the Arabic Teacher because the pupil refused to do Arabic Studies when French Teacher was not available and Christian Religious Knowledge, Hebrew or Greek were not part of the options at all. If we are going to do pilgrimage together as a nation, there must be fairplay, mutual respect for one another and justice which can be brought about by different arms of government. We demand for justice from the government on this matter very quickly. We would request for a return to the curriculum we were using before this dangerous one which did not produce insurgents or a wrongly indoctrinated Nigerians. A stitch in time saves nine”.
Read the full text of the speech here.
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