•Set up policy monitoring team now –Bishop Alawode
From Oluseye Ojo, Ibadan
National President of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Rev. Samson Ayokunle, has insisted that the new national curriculum on education, released by National Educational Research and Development Council (NERDC) is time bomb that is not only against the Christians, but also, Muslims.
Rev. Ayokunle argued that the curriculum is more against Christians and warned that all anti-Christian clauses in the curriculum must be expunged by the Federal Government because it is capable of setting the country on fire.
Ayokunle, who is also the national president of Nigerian Baptist Convention (NBC), spoke with Daily Sun, on the first day of a three-day conference, organised by Fuel the Fire Ministers’ Network (Covenant Alliance) in Ibadan.
President of the ministry, Bishop Olumakinde Samuel Alawode, urged CAN to have an arm that would monitor policies of government at all levels to ensure that anti-Christian clauses are not allowed in the policies, instead of advocating their removal after the policies have been formulated.
Regardless, the CAN president stated that the booklet which NERDC brought out for year one to nine – primary school up to junior secondary school as national curriculum, is not only against Christians, it is also against Muslims because they have reduced the teaching of those two subjects – Christian Religious Knowledge (CRK) and Islamic Religious Knowledge (IRK), and merged them into one.
“Is it now that we are having more violence, when we need to teach people more about the love of God, the love for one another and the need for peaceful co-existence, which the religions teach that you will now be de-emphasising the moral teachings of the religions and merge them into one. That will not take us anywhere. Then, all the clauses in that curriculum, which is antagonistic to the tenets of another major religion should never appear in national curriculum. It will not do us any good. So, this is what we are saying and we are telling the government, that curriculum must be repealed, it must be scrapped, it is of no use, it is irrelevant, it is an ill-wind that blows no one any good.”
Addressing Christian ministers drawn from all over the country, and two other countries, Ayokunle said: “We have started suspecting that there are some policies in Nigeria that we must not allow, otherwise, we would live no future of faith for our children, we would not be able to hand over the legacy of knowing God through Christ that our parents handed over to us. One of them is the one that I am presently fighting with the rest of the team on the obnoxious national curriculum on education; that curriculum is going to be scrapped in the mighty name of Jesus, especially the one that has to do with year one to nine, which is from primary school to junior secondary school.
“We have some clauses there that will set the nation on fire. It should not appear on national curriculum, where one religion will be teaching children that ‘Jesus Christ did not die on the cross, he did not rise from the dead’ and so on. The teachings are very provocative that will make school pupils to be boxing one another. If you want to teach that in your privacy, go and teach it. But never in the national curriculum.
“Also, we are resisting with everything within us the attempt to reduce the status of religious teachings, the attempt to merge Christianity, Islamic studies, civil education together and call it Religious and National Values, is totally rejected.
We render that null and void and of no effect.
“I took this battle last week to the acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo. It is a gunpowder. It is a time bomb. When it explodes, it will spare no one. We have had enough violence.
“It was when they removed morning devotion from school that people who are terrorists now were either in primary or secondary school. They were not brought up under the fear of God. Christians and Muslims were not brought up to love one another in those schools, and when they passed out, they became a menace to the entire nation. So, we see a wave of secularism, trying to make itself God here in Nigeria.
“Unfortunately, by the time that curriculum was being mooted, the Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council (NERDC) had seven directors. The executive director there was a so-called Christian. Out of the seven directors, five were Christians and two were Muslims, yet they came out with that senseless curriculum.
“I am saying this not to incite people. I know there is television here covering me. I will not say anything out of my mouth, which I am not sure of. That was the reason every attempt they have been making, maybe to arrest me or whatever, they have to double-cross their facts because I will not go openly and say fallacy. Five of the directors were Christians; Christians that lost their heads.”
Ayokunle also took a swipe at a number of ministers, saying: “Some of you pastors are at fault. You are not disciplining your members, maybe you just worship their money. You worship their status. They are infidels. They don’t know the law. Ministers should beware of mixed multitude.”