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  • "You Can’t Force Islamic Studies On Our Children" - PFN, Bishop Oyedepo Warn
  • Arising from an emergency
    meeting in Lagos,
    Southwest Nigeria on
    Thursday, the Pentecostal
    Fellowship of Nigeria, PFN,
    and the General Overseer,
    Living Faith, Bishop David
    Oyedepo have warned the
    Federal and State
    Governments against
    attempt to force Christian
    students in secondary
    schools to offer Islamic
    Studies.
    Speaking while addressing
    newsmen at the PFN
    Headquarters in Isolo,
    Lagos, Southwest Nigeria,
    Oyedepo said government
    had no right to force
    subjects on anybody, saying
    that by stopping Christian
    Religion Studies, CRS, at the
    Senior Secondary School
    level, it automatically meant
    that it would not be
    embraced at the tertiary
    institutions.
    “You cannot force our
    students to study Islamic
    Studies or Arabic Studies,”
    he said, citing a case in
    Kwara State where a
    Christian student was
    beaten and forced to take
    Arabic Studies against his
    will.
    Speaking, PFN President,
    Dr. Felix Omobude said the
    PFN was concerned at the
    contention and controversy
    that had attended the
    revised Basic Education
    Curriculum, especially the
    unnecessary collapse of
    Christian Religious Studies
    as part of an omnibus
    subject known as Religion
    and National Values.
    “We note the explanation by
    the Nigerian Educational
    Research and Development
    Council (NERDC) on some
    of the issues raised.
    However, the PFN
    maintains that whatever the
    case, there is really no need
    nor is there any justification
    for the needless confusion
    and uncertainty the NERDC
    has created which has
    opened up the
    implementation of the
    curriculum to the whims
    and caprices people with
    vested interests who want
    to impose their religious
    preferences on students.
    “The PFN calls for an
    immediate reversal of the
    change of curriculum so
    that Christian Religious
    Studies can stand on its
    own as a separate subject
    just as it has always been.
    Collapsing CRK as only a
    part of Religion and
    National Values forecloses
    the opportunity of the
    subject being studied at the
    tertiary level by students
    who might so desire and
    this is unacceptable to us.
    “On the question of the
    compulsory study of
    Foreign languages, as the
    curriculum has laid out, the
    PFN urges that the window
    be opened up to more
    languages beyond French
    and Arabic to accommodate
    other languages such as
    Spanish, etc. so that our
    children can enjoy greater
    flexibility in foreign
    language study and not be
    compelled to study a
    language they have no
    interest in, as its being
    reported in some states. We
    are aware of orchestrated
    plans to subtly use this
    policy as a means of
    forceful religious
    indoctrination and we
    maintain our stand against
    it,” Omobude said.
    On killings by Fulani
    herdsmen, Omobule stated
    that the PFN was
    concerned that a lot of the
    instances of killings across
    many parts of the country
    was linked to Fulani
    herdsmen who seemed to
    find it so easy to kill,
    destroy farms and houses,
    yet were able to evade
    apprehension by security
    forces.
    “We call for adequate and
    appropriate response of
    government to put an end to
    the activities of these killer
    Herdsmen across the
    country. We urge the
    Federal Government to take
    the issue of security more
    seriously especially the
    spate of kidnappings all
    over the country.
    “The PFN restates its
    position that nomadic
    cattle-rearing has become
    outdated. It urges the
    government of states,
    where cattle rearing is a
    part and parcel of their
    culture, to build ranches
    and develop reserves where
    cattle owners can husband
    their animals without
    travelling long distances
    where they stray into farms,
    destroy crops and
    constitute nuisance and
    threat to other
    communities,” he said.
    On Southern Kaduna crisis,
    the PFN president said the
    body was worried at
    developments in the area,
    especially the lack of
    prompt response to
    guarantee the security of
    lives and property.
    “The PFN calls for more
    attention to be paid to the
    plight of the victims of the
    Southern Kaduna crisis. A
    delegation from the PFN
    recently paid a visitation to
    Southern Kaduna and made
    a presentation of N15
    million worth of relief
    materials to the different
    groups, irrespective of
    ethnicity or religion. From
    this visit, we can see that
    there is much more that
    urgently needs to be done
    for the people of Southern
    Kaduna and urgently too.
    We call on the Federal
    government and Kaduna
    State government to
    immediately improve on
    their rehabilitation efforts,”
    he added.
    On restructuring, Omobude
    said PFN noted with
    concern the restiveness in
    different parts of the country
    and the increasing calls for
    a break-up of the country
    on the part of those
    purporting to speak for
    ethnic groups.
    “We restate our belief in the
    unity of Nigeria and a
    commitment to one Nigeria
    where people of different
    faiths and tongues can
    continue to live together as
    one. However, we call on
    the government to do all it
    can to assuage the fears
    and concerns of everyone
    and ensure the practice of
    Federalism in its true form.
    We urge the government to
    pay attention to the calls for
    restructuring and find a way
    to push for further
    devolution of powers, while
    adopting an all-inclusive
    approach to governance
    and development in the
    country,” he added.

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