Rights and Freedom Advocates (RIFA) note that since the assumption of Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State and his appointment of Pastor Akinade Alamu and Mrs Grace Olabisi Oderinde as the Chairman and the Permanent Secretary respectively in charge of the Teaching Service Commission (TESCOM) in Oyo State, imposition of Christianity as State religion in flagrant disregard for the Constitution section 10, which provides that “The Government of the Federation or of a State shall not adopt any religion as State Religion”, has been the order of the day.
It would be recalled that during the last recruitment exercise of Post-primary Service Commission also known as Teaching Service Commission in Oyo State in 2020, TESCOM imposed five Christian Religious Studies questions on all applicants.
Also, under the same TESCOM chairman, all secondary schools in Ibadan have been mandated to have all students participate in Christmas carol activities effective from November 2021.
To confirm Governor Seyi Makinde led administration fanaticism in Oyo State, invasion of Oyo State public schools by Evangelist Daniel Kolenda is another pointer. In contradiction with Section 7(1) of Child Rights Act 2003 which provides that “Every child has a right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion, Oyo State government has failed to give equal rights to all citizens under its care as it now imposes Christianity on all.
On Friday October 29, 2021, Sasa Community High School Ibadan students were deliberately prevented from observing their jumah service as Evangelist Kolenda team of coercion were forced on students at the assembly which made the School management prevented students from leaving the assembly for jumah.
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Similarly, on Monday November 8, 2021, students of Yejide Girls Grammar School Ibadan among others were the hostages of Crusader Kolenda where strange ideology was foisted on the minds of the youngsters.
For the benefits of the deviant civil and public servants, Section 5 of Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal Act 1991 provides that “a public officer shall not put himself in a position where his personal interest conflicts with his duties and responsibilities” as well as 1999 Constitution Fifth Schedule Part 1 Sections 9 which says.
“A public officer shall not do or direct to be done, in abuse of his office, any arbitrary act prejudicial to the rights of any other person knowing that such act is unlawful or contrary to any government policy”. The Oyo State TESCOM which should know that neutrality is a core value and tenet of public service has jettisoned same for extremism of the Chairman and the Permanent Secretary. Or is their any valid justification for the TESCOM bigotry in Oyo State.
More so, Federal Service Rules of the Federation provide in article 030201- that “General inefficiency consists of a series of omissions or incompetence the cumulative effect of which shows that the officer is not capable of discharging efficiently the duties of the office he holds (in this case, the disregard for civil service ethos by the TESCOM management). The rules continue in 030301 thus- “Misconduct is….a specific act of wrong-doing or an improper behaviour which is inimical to the image of the service and which can be investigated and proved. It can also lead to termination…. It includes: (a) Scandalous conduct such as: (ii) Unruly behaviour; (d) Deliberate delay in treating official document (in this case failure to be neutral in the matter of religion by the TESCOM management); (m) Refusal to take/carry out lawful instruction from superior officers; (o) Insubordination; (p) Discourteous behaviour to the public”. Even though the state may claim to have its own rules, the fact remains that the State copied the main provisions of the Federal public service to derive its. Therefore, the provisions quoted above are also in the Oyo State Civil service rules. In line with that the TESCOM boss and the PS should be made to resign for their negligence to prevent the absurdity or sacked if they failed to resign within reasonable time except the Governor is insisting he gave full permission for the aberration.
Furthermore, Nigeria Child Rights Act 2003 in Section 11 says “Every child is.entitled to respect for the dignity of his person and accordingly, no child shall be-. (a) subjected to physical, mental or emotional injury, abuse,neglect or maltreatment, including sexual abuse; (b) subjected to torture, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment” . Unfortunately, the students of Oyo State public Secondary Schools have been subjected, by Gov Seyi Makinde led administration, to these mental or emotional injury, abuse, neglect and or maltreatment as they are no longer safe under the current TESCOM leadership. RIFA hereby call for immediate dismissal of the TESCOM boss and reprimand of the PS while the principals of the affected schools should be penalized in line with extant rules as well as cessation of the divisive and extremist activities of Evangelist Kolenda team in Oyo State public schools.