Top Christian religious leaders in the country have condemned the subtle moves to convert Christian secondary school students to Muslims by imposing Arabic Studies on them by the Federal Government.
The Christian leaders who are all members of the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN) include Pastor Enoch Adeboye of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), Pastor W.F. Kumuyi of Deeper Life Bible Church, Bishop David Oyedepo of the Living Faith Church, Bishop Mike Okonkwo of The Redeemed Evangelical Mission (TREM) and Reverend Felix Omobude.
The religious leaders reject the imposition of Arabic studies on Christian students in Secondary schools in Nigeria and ordered Christian students to boycott the compulsory Arabic classes.
Vanguard newspaper in a report said the pastors at a meeting called for immediate reversal of the revised Basic Education Curriculum, especially the removal of Christian Religious Studies as part of a subject known as Religion and National Values, and maintained that Christian Religious Studies should stand on its own as a separate subject just as it has always been.
They criticised the move to impose Arabic Studies on every secondary school student in the country, stating that the federal government has no right to force any Nigerian student at any level to study Arabic Studies.
The leaders urged the Christian students all over Nigeria to “not attend Arabic classes” claiming that the government has no authority to force the children to attend the classes.
Omobude, who is the PFN national president, Oyedepo and Okonkwo all said: “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.”
“Government has no right to force subjects on any any Nigerian child neither does it have the authority to drop Christian Religious Studies at the Senior Secondary School level while asking him/her to continue to read Islamic Studies which he/she cannot do at university level,” Bishop Oyedepo said, emphasising that by stopping Christian Religious Studies, CRS, automatically meant that it would not be embraced at the tertiary institutions.
Meanwhile, the Christian Association Nigeria (CAN) has called on the Federal Ministry of Education and the Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council (NERDC) to publish the full details of the controversial new curriculum of education if they have no hidden agenda.
Speaking through its president, Dr Samson Ayokunle, CAN alleged that there is discrimination against Christian students in the curriculum.