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CAN speaks on ban on religious activities in public schools by Kwara govt

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The umbrella body of Christians in Nigeria, the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has reacted to an order by the Kwara State government banning religious activities in public schools in the state.

The group gave its backing to the government for taking such action.

The body in a statement issued on Saturday insisted that the Kwara State Government has not banned religious activities in public schools but the restriction was placed on religious organisations going to public schools to preach.

While reacting to the order which was made public by the Commissioner for Education and Human Capital Development, Mrs Fatimoh Ahmed, on January 14, stating that no religious organisation is permitted to go to public schools for preaching or engaging in any religious activities during the morning assembly, CAN said the order was never authorised by the Kwara state government in the way it was reported.

In a statement signed on Saturday by its Secretary, Rev. Reuben Ibitoye, and made available to the News Agency of Nigeria, CAN said, “The attention of the Christian Association of Nigeria, Kwara State chapter, has been drawn to an online publication titled ‘KWARA GOVERNMENT BANS PREACHING IN PUBLIC SCHOOLS’.

“In response to the purported press release by the government dated 14/1/2020, banning religious activities in public schools.

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“The Christian Association of Nigeria, debunks the press release. We make bold to say that the press release was never authorised by the Kwara state government in the way it was reported.

“The government of Kwara state decided that the Status Quo should be maintained in all public schools, after the Secretary of the Ministry of Education, in Ilorin West Local Government issued directives to schools to start observing two separate morning assemblies and devotions one for Christian pupils and the other for Muslim pupils.

“The position of Kwara state government and stakeholders on issue of morning assembly and devotion was that: there shall not be two devotions on assembly in public schools.

“The devotion and assembly shall be led by the school Principal whether in Christian schools or Muslim schools in line with the faith of the Proprietor,” the statement read in part.

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