The Rights and Freedom Advocates (RIFA) have expressed their displeasure over Ogun State Government adoption and imposition of Christian Religious Studies (CRS) on students of the public schools in the State.
In a 4-page letter addressed to the State Commissioner of Education and copied to other stakeholders at Federal and State levels including the Governor, the human rights group condemned the State Government for working against the Constitution of the Country which the Governor swore to uphold.
With relevant sections of the Nigerian Constitution, Child Rights Act and Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal Act copiously cited, the group demand reversal of imposition of CRS on Students of public schools in the state with emphasis on Abeokuta Grammar School which has consistently forced all students to study and pass CRS from JS1 to JS3.
The group noted the imposition was in flagrant disregard for Section 10 of 1999 constitution (As Amended) which provides “The Government of the Federation or of a State shall not adopt any religion as State Religion”.
Similarly, the group also noted that Section 38(2) of the 1999 Constitution (As Amended) provides “No person attending any place of education shall be required to receive religious instruction or to take part in or attend any religious ceremony or observance if such instruction ceremony or observance relates to a religion other than his own, or religion not approved by his parent or guardian”..
In line with the above, everybody is entitled to enjoy his or her freedom of faith without intimidation, coercion and oppression from any quarter
It would be recalled that immediately the current administration came on board in 2019, an illegal and unregistered association; Social Media Evangelism (SME) was granted the custody of copies of lists of public primary school students in Ogun West senatorial district.
It took the intervention of the Advocates of justice to stall invasion of Ogun public primary schools by fundamentalists.
Furthermore, the practice of Ogun State Agricultural and Multipurpose Credit Agency (OSAMCA) turning Redeemed Christians Church of God (RCCG) auditorium to venue for government empowerment programme with huge fund to, perhaps, empower RCCG members at the detriment of other citizens was rebuffed.
This was in reaction to OSAMCA audacity whereby it held its entrepreneurship empowerment programmes for two weeks (May 17 to May 30, 2022) at the RCCG Region 12, Sagamu in addition to holding similar programme between 13th and 26th June 2022 at RCCG Regional Headquarters, beside SOAS filling State, Adigbe, Abeokuta.
The practice was not only alien to the Nigerian laws on neutrality of government but also specifically designed to deny none RCCG members opportunity to benefit from the programme. RIFA hereby call on the government to stop the divisive agenda as the State resources belong to all.
The release concluded by demanding that Ogun State Government should preserve the Constitution which the Governor swore to protect on behalf of the State Government by preventing further rape on the laws of the land.
Rights and Freedom Advocates (RIFA)