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JAMB 2019: Islamic organization blows hot as invigilators stop hijab-wearing students

The Muslim Rights Concern, MURIC, has reacted bitterly as some hijab wearing students were reportedly denied entry into the examination hall by invigilators and supervisors in the ongoing Joint Admission and Matriculation Board, JAMB, Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination, UTME.

The Islamic group, in a statement made available to DAILY POST on Friday, said it denounced the action of the invigilators and supervisors at the examination centers involved.

MURIC’s statement was signed by its founder and Director, Professor Ishaq Akintola.

Daughter of a former ace broadcaster, Sulaiman Aledeh, was among several hijab-wearing female students who were denied entry at a JAMB examination center in Lagos yesterday, according to MURIC.

The Islamic organisations said this was revealed in a tweet sent by the ex-broadcaster at exactly 8 am on Thursday, 11th April, 2019 on his twitter handle @aledeh.

The tweet said, ‘My daughter is writing her @JAMBHQ today but she just called me now that she’s been asked to remove her hijab before she’s allowed in at the center at New Ocean School, Megida, Ayobo. Is that the rule please? She’s NOT the only one cos they’re from a MUSLIM school.’

MURIC’s statement added, “We are aware of the refusal of some JAMB invigilators and supervisors to allow female Muslim candidates who wore hijab to the centers to sit for the examinations.

“This action is despicable, repugnant and barbaric. It is also illegal, unlawful, illegitimate and unconstitutional. When will Muslim-haters grow up? When will they become democracy-compliant? When will they respect the rule of law?

“The law says hijab is constitutional (Section 38 (i) and (ii)) but they will rather follow their whims and caprices. The Muslims of the South West are being taken for granted.

“Our love for peaceful coexistence and our reluctance to take the law into our hands is being mistaken for cowardice. But we will like to warn that there is a limit to patience.

“We remind Muslim haters in the South West that there are no more ‘stupid monkeys’ in Idanre. The only remaining monkeys over there are smarter than homo sapiens. Everyday may be for the oppressors and Muslim-haters but certainly there will be one day for the oppressed Muslims.

“This profiling of Muslims particularly through the denial of hijab rights has been on for a long time. The Muslim victims cry out daily. Many cases of hijab denial are in the courts.

“Yet the various state governments pretend as if nothing is happening. Worse still, the Federal Government has ‘decided not to interfere’. The message is very clear. The authorities are telling us that the fate of Muslims is in the hands of Muslims.

“MURIC therefore calls on Muslims in the South West to prepare for a long, intellectual and nonviolent struggle. Female Muslim students are hereby instructed to carry recording gadgets on their persons. We want all provocations, victimisations and acts of stigmatization to be secretly recorded wherever they occur because it will be impossible to get a conviction if there is no concrete evidence.

“We charge Islamic organisations, particularly the Muslim lawyers Association (MULAN), the Muslim Teachers Association (MUTAN), the National Council of Muslim Youth Organisation (NACOMYO), the Muslim Students Society of Nigeria (MSSN), The Muslim Congress (TMC) to re-engineer their mobilization strategies towards deflating this rising persecution ego among Muslim-haters in the sub-region. It is high time some fanatical Muslim-haters are made to face the full wrath of the law.”

The human rights organization also alleged that a male invigilator touched the female candidates in an improper manner at the same center under the guise of carrying out searches on candidates.

“We strongly object to the way a male invigilator touched all parts of the female candidates at the center under the guise of conducting searches. It is highly unprofessional, immoral, improper and paedophilic. Men should search male candidates while women officials search female candidates. That is the global best practice.

“We aver that improper touching has occurred in this circumstance and somebody must be held accountable for it. Most of the female candidates are underaged and their parents have entrusted them into the hands of JAMB as a social contract. It is child abuse. JAMB authorities have a duty to ask questions and get appropriate answers from the center.

“Those behind this victimization hide under official assignments to perpetrate their evil acts. Unfortunately, all the government institutions which they represent declare their actions illegal. For instance, all the examination bodies have declared that hijab is allowed in examination halls. But no ad hoc or permanent staff has been punished to date for stigmatizing female Muslim students.

“Are these authorities and examination bodies waiting for the time when Muslim youths will mobilise themselves, lay in ambush and take officials who victimize female Muslims to police stations? Who shall we blame at that point? Are the Muslims in the sub-region being pushed to the wall deliberately because some people want to flex muscles or score a religious or political point?

“Although some of the JAMB candidates were later allowed to enter after being made to stay outside for a long time, we still consider this measure as unfair, uncharitable and very provocative. Muslim candidates were delayed outside the examination hall while their Christian counterparts continued writing in an examination in which all the candidates will stop at the same time.

“Is this fair? Is it just? Is it equitable? It will be difficult for female Muslim candidates who were intimidated outside the hall to gain their emotional balance immediately. It is also expected that candidates who were delayed outside while their colleagues had already started writing the examination have been disadvantaged. This is one of the methods being used by Christian officials to favour Christian candidates at the expense of their Muslim counterparts.

“It is also important to note that those who persecute female Muslim candidates in hijab have never attempted the same in any part of the North. Perhaps they know the expected consequence.

“We are placing it on record for the day when records will become priceless. More importantly, we are calling the attention of the whole world to the persecution being meted out to Muslims in South West Nigeria. Our detractors are adept at spreading false propaganda.

“Although they are the perpetrators of injustice, they are always the first to rush to the United Kingdom, the United States, the United Nations, etc. Also, they always find a way to sway media sentiment to their side. But we find solace in the knowledge that truth is constant and it will always overwhelm falsehood no matter how long.

“MURIC calls on the JAMB authorities to carry out full investigation into the victimization of female Muslim candidates at New Ocean School, Megida, Ayobo. The circumstances surrounding the improper, immoral and paedophilic searches by a male on underaged girls must also be investigated.

“Before we draw the curtain, we affirm that in view of the incessant violation of extant rules by staff andad hoc workers and the continuous criminal molestation of female Muslim candidates, JAMB and other national examination bodies like the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) owe it a duty to issue memoranda and publish advertorials containing permission to female Muslim candidates to use hijab and a clear warning to invigilators and supervisors who disallow it.

“Only thus can the examination bodies assure Nigerians that they are not collaborators in the age-long persecution of Muslims in the South West.”

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News

FG speaks on snubbing some regions in development plans

The Federal Government, on Wednesday, assured that no region and state capital would be left out of its rail development master plan.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, gave the assurance when he featured on the Nigeria Television Authority (NTA) Programme, “Good Morning Nigeria”.

During the programme monitored by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja, the minister said the federal government was committed and focused on providing infrastructures and no part of Nigeria would be shortchanged.

“The Eastern rail corridor which traversed the South East and South-South states, connecting them to other regions is in the master plan and will be developed. We have been able to revamp our rail system.

“The Lagos-Ibadan, Lagos-Abeokuta standard gauge is being test run. The Itakpe-Warri-Ajaokuta is also running while the Kaduna to Abuja is overwhelmed.

“I can assure you that our rail programme will ensure that no state capital will be left out. That is our master plan. We are doing it in phases,” he said.

The minister, who said that the administration had invested on road projects across the nation, gave examples of the Lagos-Ibadan expressway which was abandoned by previous governments, the Shagamu-Ore and Ilorin-Jebba-Mokwa roads.

The minister said that work on the Enugu-Aba-Port-Harcourt; Enugu-Onitsha expressways; the East-West road and second Niger Bridge, among others, are progressing very well.

He assured that in the next two to three years, Nigerians would see the completion of many of the roads.

He said implementation of Treasury Single Account had helped in blocking leakages and the channelling of government resources to critical infrastructure development.

“The government is building relationship with foreign countries and reaching out to global partners including ADB which are helping in development of infrastructures.

“African Development Bank has advanced about 6.5 billion dollars on infrastructure to Nigeria over the years,” he said.

Mohammed said that government was taking advantage of the Public Private Partnership arrangements to reach out to leading industrialists and manufacturers.

He said there were such arrangements with Dangote and BUA to develop critical infrastructures around the area of their operations while deductions would be made through taxation.

Speaking on power, the minister called the attention of Nigerians to the fact that the power sector had been privatised by past administrations.

He said it was unlike the past when the government controls generation, transmission and distribution.

“What we have today is a privatised power system where companies control generation and distribution. The only part left to government is transmission,” he said.

He said the Buhari administration had made several interventions resulting in increased power generation from 4,000 megawatts to 7,000 megawatts and stepped into addressing distribution challenges.

The minister said the government would make necessary intervention to ensure sustained improvement in power.

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Education

Ondo varsity shut as students ground academic activities

The Adekunle Ajasin University Akungba-Akoko, AAUA, Ondo State has been shut.

This development followed the protest that greeted the decision of the school management to bar students from writing the continuous assessment as a result of school fees issue.

It was gathered that the university management had announced the enforcement of ‘No School Fees, No Test/Examination’ with large number of students not allowed to participate in Wednesday’s test.

Infuriated by the management’s decision, the students mobilized in their numbers and disrupted the test.

According to some of the students, they described the action of the school’s management as an effort to make indigent students drop out of going by the exorbitant fees put in place by the management last year.

A student , who gave his name as Williams explained that, “they (management) shut out most students who have not paid or balance their fees from writing this test.

“It is nothing but pure wickedness.

“They’re some of us whose parents don’t have the financial strength of paying the fees at once. It’s just unfair.

Another student, who gave her name as Titi said that “the management ought to outline modalities of making the fee convenient for students.

“Even in some private universities, they’re ways it’s done that it won’t be cumbersome for parents and students.

“Probably, the plan of the state government is to deprive us of university education.

However, the university management has ordered all students to vacate the campus with immediate effect.

The Registrar of the institution, Dr. Sunday Ayeerun in a statement said all students should resume Monday May 20, 2019.

“The Management of Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba Akoko, Ondo State,has approved a Mid-Semester break for all students of the University.

“All students of the university are, therefore, advised to proceed on the Mid-Semester break with immediate effect.

“Students are to resume to campus on Monday, May 20, 2019,”

The students were billed to commence the first semester 2018/2019 academic session on May 5, 2019.

The Ondo State government had last year increased the school fees in the institution from average N35,000 to N180,000 which generated series of protests that led to the shutting down of the Akure the Ondo State capital for days.

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Rev. Akinola reveals those responsible for Nigeria’s problems

Rev. Peter Akinola, the former Primate of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion), has blamed past and present administrations in Nigeria for the decay in physical infrastructure around the country.

Akinola made the criticism in Abuja on Wednesday at the dedication of St. Matthias House, Church of Nigeria National Secretariat, at Plot 924, Ibrahim Waziri Crescent CAD Zone BOI, Gudu District.

He said it was sad that the 127.6km Lagos-Ibadan Expressway built at the cost of 90 million in 1978, had taken 20 years to be rehabilitated in spite of huge funds sunk into the job by different administrations.

The cleric said that Nigerians needed guidance that would lead the way to the place of rest and charged the church to base its decisions on the reformation principles of God.

“The decision must be predicted on reformation principles, what the scriptures say, Christ should guide decision,” he said.

He advised the church not to allow politicians to guide its activities or influence its decisions.

Akinola expressed regrets over the poor quality of education in the country, adding that because politicians could not fix the problems of the country, they sent their children abroad to study.

He also criticised the poor state of health facilities in the country and described public hospitals as a glorified clinics.

“In our national teaching hospitals, people now sleep on the flour, women now give birth on the floor while nurses engage their phones.

“Our politicians go overseas and are not bothered about how they will help dying Nigerians because they cannot give what they do not have,” he said.

Akinola said that the church belongs to God and not for any ethnic group and urged tribal leaders and politicians to put all their agenda outside the church to enable the church leader to succeed.

Commenting on the killings across the country, he advised Christians to be law-abiding and promote peace as God they serve is a God of peace.

He expressed regrets over the killing of 10 youths in Gombe on Sunday night but noted that when people were pushed to the wall they reacted violently.

In his speech, Archbishop Nicholas Okoh, the Primate of the Church, spoke about God’s faithfulness towards the completion of St Matthias House and likened it to the story of the Israelites to the Promise Land.

Okoh said that God gave man the skill to build houses and He had given the Church of Nigeria in its 40th year the skill to build a new National Secretariat and office complex.

“We have come to offer thanksgiving to God and to dedicate this new building to His honour and glory as we present the National secretariat,” he said.

The primate said the buildings had been dedicated to God through prayer, worship and service of God.

Okoh said the country needed development but stressed that development was not a 100m dash but a marathon which requires one step at a time.

“What Nigeria needs actually is that at any given time there should be one development going on, either in education, in health and in all areas of our lives so that through this way progress is made.

“What is more of a problem to Nigeria is the absence of light, we cannot continue with this generator matter and whoever is selling this generator to us is our enemies; our government should know that generator dealers are part of our problems and should find a solution to it,” he said.

Okoh stressed the need for the government to protect the citizens and urged the people to choose persons of integrity to protect their interests.

The Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) came into being on Feb. 14, 1979, recognised as St. Matthias Day.

The church was formed from the 16 dioceses of the Anglican Church in Nigeria out of the Anglican Province of West Africa.

Construction of the secretariat started on Jan. 12, 2016.

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