The Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, Tuesday declared that the recent decision by the Osun State Government to mix up some Muslim students with their Christian counterparts in missionary schools, hence having students who wear hijab in such schools, was a ploy to Islamise the state.
National General-Secretary of CAN, Rev. Musa Asake, in a statement issued in Abuja, said the move by the state Governor, Rauf Aregbesola, was part of a grand plan to systematically silence Christians in the state.
According to him, if the decision by the state government was not reversed, CAN would be left with no other option than to use legal means to resist such moves.
CAN also alleged that the plans to Islamise the state was not peculiar to the education sector alone, citing a recent loan purportedly secured by the state government from the Islamic Bank.
“We have been following the events in the state. To get to this point where they are trying to bring some Muslims to mix them with Christian students is a ploy. There is a no pretence about it and we are going to resist it. I totally disagree that the Islamisation of the state is not peculiar to the education sector alone. They have an agenda.
“If you follow the event in that state and the way the governor is going about doing his own things, he has an agenda. Why is he particular about Christian schools? If he really wants to promote education in that state, why can’t he build other schools? Why is he particular about Christian schools? We Christians can no longer fold our hands and allow them do what they want.”
Asake further accused the past and present governments of intentionally ignoring the plight of Christians, stressing that Christians had been reduced to second class citizens in their own country.
According to him, “40 years ago, under the supervision of a Christian minority head of state, General Yakubu Gowon, someone, somewhere brought the idea that mission schools should be taken over. Now watch! 40 years later, under the supervision of another Christian minority president, Goodluck Jonathan, almajiri schools have been introduced.
Osun State government, however dismissed CAN’s allegations as puerile and ignoble.
In a statement by the governor’s spokesman, Mr. Semiu Okanlawon, Aregbesola said: “It is most disheartening that the seething distrust and unhealthy rivalry among people of different faiths in Nigeria are the parameters which some people have decided to use to measure the actions of the governor of the state.
“For CAN to allege, once again, that Aregbesola is Islamising the state beats the imagination of every right-thinking people. This is the governor that has, for the first time, ensured fairness among people of all faiths. At least, it is on record that the three religions have at one time or the other accused the governor of promoting one religion over the other.
“What amounts to promoting one religion over the other in the thinking of the zealots is no more than the decision of the administration to allow people practise their faiths without any hindrance.”