Muslim group counsels Adeleke against return of schools to missionaries 

A Muslim group, Joint Muslims Action Forum (JOMAF), weekend, described the call for return of public schools to missionaries in Osun state as not only uncalled for, but also ill-conceived, unfair, unfortunate.

The group consequently warned Governor Ademola Adeleke against heeding the call.

A statement jointly signed by the chairman and secretary of JOMAF, Kola Uzamat and Qaasim Odedeji, Sunday, said the call by the Bishop of Catholic Diocese of Osogbo, Most Rev. John Oyejola, during his visit to Governor Adeleke, is a call for anarchy. 

The group noted that the taking over of schools in 1975 by the government was done with compensation and recalled that successive governments have spent huge government resources in building infrastructures and training of personnel for those schools with tax-payers’ money.

“After the taking over of schools by government in Nigeria especially in the South-west which unarguably dominantly Muslims, the Christian churches still continue laying wrongful claim to the ownership of those schools using the influence of school administrators who are majorly Christians to continue to deny Muslim students their fundamental rights and stopping the Muslim girls from the use of hijab and denying the teaching of Islamic studies.

“Meanwhile, succor came the way of Muslim children when they became more educated and enlightened, thereby challenging the status quo through legal means which has led to legal victory in the recent years when court made several pronouncements on the right of Muslim students to practice their religion, especially the use of hijab by female Muslim students.

“The aftermath of the challenge of the status quo in those public schools is the call for return of schools to their former owners by the Christian leaders under the pretence of ‘a way of revamping educational sector ‘ as made to Governor Adeleke by the Catholic Bishop of Osogbo Diocese.

“While we do not dispute the fact that everybody is entitled to his opinion, such advice should be made in good faith and should not be one aimed at subjugating the interest of other citizens.

“Therefore, JOMAF sees the call by Bishop Oyejola for return of schools to missionaries as an attempt to return the schools to dark old-age when the right of Muslim children to the fundamental right to practice his religion and manifest same was always trampled upon,” the group said.