Osun CAN debunks ban on Christian Religious Studies; says agents of destabilization at work again
Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Osun Chapter, Superior Evangelist Abraham Aladeseye, has refuted media report purporting that the association, in a communique, alleged that the government has banned the teaching of Christian Religious Studies (CRS) in Muslim schools.
Evangelist Aladeseye described the story as figment of the writer’s imagination as neither he as a person nor CAN as a body has issued any communique in question and that he or CAN executive knew nothing about the communique.
Aladeseye said that security agencies should investigate the matter and get to the root as he smelt a calculated attempt by some disgruntled elements to cause religious disharmony in the state.
It was reported in the Nigerian Tribune on Tuesday that CAN would not hesitate to order the cancellation of Islamic Religious Studies (IRS) in all Christian established schools in the state if Islamic schools cancelled the teaching of CRS.
He averred that the journalists, who wrote the story referred to a communique CAN issued last year (Thursday May 31, 2012), in which certain issues were raised and communicated to the government, adding that the issues had since then been trashed out amicably to the satisfaction of both Muslim and the Christian communities.
He said: “I don’t know anything about the communique. Even the CAN executive did not know anything about it. I don’t know where the newspaper (Tribune) got its information.
“I just want to implore the security agencies to step into the matter and conduct a thorough investigation. This is because I don’t want anything that can tarnish my image and name. We did not issue any communique.
“I am prepared to sue the newspaper because I didn’t not see or know anyone of them. It was around last year April that we wrote a simple letter to government over the issue of pupils wearing hijab, revival ground in Ilesha (Open Heaven Arena) and the proposed school uniform.
“And that we have trashed out among ourselves. That letter of last year is different from what I read in this paper today. This year, CAN has not issued any communique. In fact, we are to meet today (Tuesday). So, how could we have issued a communique before meeting? We in CAN did not know anything about the story.
“About two weeks ago, we had an emergency meeting with the Deputy Governor under the Nigerian Inter-Religious Council (NAIREC) where somebody raised the issue of cancellation of CRS in Muslim schools. The Deputy Governor said such insinuation is far from the truth and that we should inform government if they hear anything of such.”
The CAN Chairman said in his capacity, his office has not received a complaint that Muslim or Christian schools have stopped teaching CRS or IRS in their schools.
He noted that CAN is satisfied with the leadership style of Governor Aregbesola, which opened its door for any discussion concerning religious matters in the state.
He continued: “We are Christians; we are not taught to destabilize anywhere where peace is reigning. We do not need to create problem or embarrassment for anybody or any government.
“On behalf of CAN in Osun State we are satisfied with how the government in the state is handling religious matters. When we have axe to grind with the government, we would go and discuss and the governor would explain his own side of the matter. That has been the strategy so far.
“When you see something wrong, you say it out the way it is. If last year when we had problem over hijab, we went to the governor, he told us to go and solve the problem ourselves. The CAN and Muslim leaders met and that had been resolved for long now.”
He also debunked the rumour in the story that CAN also dissociated itself from the multipurpose Open Heaven Arena the state government is building for the Christians in the state in Ilesha, saying nothing could be far from the truth.
The cleric vowed to take prompt and serious legal action against the Nigerian Tribune for dragging his name into what he had no knowledge about.
He urged people, who want to play politics not to drag the name of CAN in the state, the church or men of God, saying the altar is not for politics and should not be used for political ends.
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