Dr. Bolaji Akinyemi, the Convener of Apostolic Round Table and BOT Chairman of Project Victory Call Initiative AKA PVC-Naija, and National Stakeholders have disabused the minds of Nigerian Christians over the fear of introduction of National Christian Education Bill at the National Assembly.
The bill seeking to create a National Centre for Christian Education in Nigeria had been introduced to the National Assembly by Senator Binos Yaroe, representing Adamawa South Senatorial District. The bill which has passed the second reading at the Senate according to the sponsor, was to regulate and set standards for the practice of Christianity in Nigeria.
The Senator claimed that the centre, when established, would aid in resolving the country’s “inappropriate practice” of religion, which according to him, “had in the past, led to issues.”
Another Senator, Istifanus Gyang of the Plateau North Senatorial District, weighing in on the discussion, had argued that improperly practised religion has fostered radicalism.
Senator Gyang noted that religion could be a source of strength and national solidarity if followed properly, adding that the bill when established will create a curriculum for Christian education.
Senator Abba Moro, who also spoke, said the bill was ‘apt’ given that some youngsters had been duped by radical religious figures.
To Apostle Akinyemi, who attended a stakeholders’ meeting last week in Abuja, it was like the bill was not well understood by many Christians and Church leaders in Nigeria.
In his report, the Christian activist explained, “For clarity, the bill is not to regulate the Church as some speculations in some quarters suggest but to institute Christian Education in our educational system. Secondly, the bill did not emanate from the Government but came from the Christian community.
According to Apostle Akinyemi, the event which took place at the Royal Choice Inn Hall of the National Christian Centre, Abuja on Thursday and Friday, 22nd and 23rd June 2023, had in attendance heads or representatives of the five Blocs that make up CAN which are: Catholics Secretariat of Nigeria (CSN). Christian Council of Nigeria (CCN), Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria/Christian Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN/CPFN), Organization of African Instituted Churches (OAIC), TEKAN/ECWA, as well as Proprietors of Christian Schools.
“The main focus of the very robust engagement was the Reading and Discourse on the National Christian Education Bill. His Eminence, Most Rev. Dr. Daniel C. Okoh, the CAN President and Chief Host gave his Opening Remarks after the usual preambles,” reported Dr. Akinyemi.
“In his opening remarks, the CAN President expressed that the Christian Association of Nigeria is making a clarion call for Christian educators, religious leaders, traditional rulers and indeed all men and women of good conscience to rise up and join CAN in waging an asymmetric war against the invasion of the educational system by forces that are alien to our faith and culture. He went further to express his disappointment and worry over the level of corrupt materials and immoral lessons that have been smuggled into the educational curriculum which he described as nauseating!
“In his words ‘we are very perturbed about the moral level of children we are preparing for leadership of tomorrow. Therefore, it is time to engage state and non-state actors to redeem the future of our children and nation in general. It is a serious business and rightly deserves all our time and urgent attention.’”
The discourse had Bro. Gbile Akanni as the Lead Speaker. Other speakers were Hon. Beni Lar, Hon. Benjamin Mzondu, Dr. Mrs. Ekaete Ettang, the sponsors of the Christian Education Bill, Prof. Andrew Haruna, and leaders of the different Blocs as well as the President of the Christian Traditional Rulers.
“Bro Gbile Akanni took time to define each word that formed the theme for better understanding of the essence of the Summit. According to Bro. Gbile, Christian Education is not about teaching Christian Religious Knowledge or Bible knowledge but it is about teaching Christian Values.
To Dr. Akinyemi, “the media report on the bill was mischievous, I must however commend the application of Biblical administration by a cross section of the Church who stood watch on the bill in the strength of; 1Thessalonians 5:21: Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.
“It should also be noted that the proposed bill is not to determine or regulate the doctrines of the different denominations.”
Earlier, echoes from the Christian public had grossly misunderstood the bill, thinking it was another attempt to stifle the Christians and Church in Nigeria, simply because of the terrible experiences Christians in Nigeria suffered under former president Muhammadu Buhari.
Further investigations by PTL News revealed that it was part of the move by stakeholders including the Christian Association of Nigeria to improve the standard of education in mission schools in Nigeria.
The bill which led to the stakeholders’ summit was borne out of the continuous poor showings and dwindling standard of education in the country.
It was a clarion call by stakeholders to Christian/Mission schools to reflect on the ideals of the founding fathers of such schools, the standard they set and work done to ensure this generation benefit from the sound education which will mould their character and make them useful citizens in the society.
The stakeholders maintain that conscious giving of sound Christian and moral education to young people would raise godly generations who would transform the country through effective administrative and corporate governance structure.
In a related development, speaking in Jos while on a mobilization and advocacy visit to the Plateau State Chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, the President, Association of Christian Schools in Nigeria, ACSN, Dr Ekaette Ettang, stated “the time is now for all Christians to wake up and salvage the education sector from total collapse, stressing the visit was to foster mutual understanding on improving standard of education in the country.
She continued, “The missionaries made sacrifice and set an educational standard that mould our lives. It is time for the Church to boost the educational system, missionary schools should not allow education to collapse.
“We must make sure that we produce products that will stand the test of time. In every system, there is a product and we are asking ourselves now what we are producing?
“I am sure everybody who understands what is happening now knows that we are sad, we are not proud and so we cannot continue in this direction. That is why we the Christian and Mission Schools being the light of the world are now rising up to say no to low standard of education.”
To awaken the consciousness of Nigerians to the positive examples set by missionaries in education, Dr Ettang disclosed that September 11 has been set aside to celebrate the sacrifices and investment of missionaries in education in Nigeria and revisit their standard to revamp the educational sector.
It was along this line that CAN organised the 2023 National Christian Education Stakeholder’s Summit in Abuja between June 22 and 23, 2023.
According to CAN, “this year’s edition was aimed at uniting the body of Christ in Nigeria, for the purpose of educating, consultation, Spiritual reawakening, and preparing the stakeholders for the public hearing on the Christian Education Bill that is at the National Assembly; with the renowned Bro. Gbile Akanni of Peace House Gboko, as the Lead Speaker.
The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) through her National Directorate of Education, Women and Youth Development, hosted the 2023 edition of National Christian Education Stakeholder’s Summit with the theme: “Redeeming the Mandate of Educational System through Christian Education: A key for National Transformation”.
The event which is organized annually, is to bring together diverse stakeholders in the education sector and beyond. According to the organizing committee led by Rev. Nicodemus E. Ozumba, National Director for Education, Women and Youth Development, this year’s edition was aimed at uniting the body of Christ in Nigeria, for the purpose of educating, consultation, Spiritual reawakening, and preparing the stakeholders for the public hearing on the Christian Education Bill that is at the National Assembly; with the renowned Bro. Gbile Akanni of Peace House Gboko, as the Lead Speaker.
The summit held in Abuja from Thursday, 22nd to Friday, 23rd June, 2023 at the Royal Choice Conference Centre, National Christian Centre featured high-level remarks, Theme talk, Presentation of the Bill, Panel Discussion, Seminar presentation, Group Workshop, Goodwill messages, Prayers sessions and Communique on the Summit.
Participants at the summit were key stakeholders in the educational sector, CAN National and Bloc leaders, Zonal leaders and states leaders, Church leaders and Education Directors, Christian Proprietors and Heads of Schools, Heads of Departments, Head teachers of faith based/mission schools, Chaplains, Senior Christian Teachers, Christian Lawyers, PTFs/PTAs leaders, Christian Organizations engaged in Christ Centred Education, Christian legislators at the National Assembly, Rectors and Provost of Seminaries, Researchers and other relevant stakeholders in the educational sector.
Thanks for reading this. Please like it, comment and share this story. Also follow Julius Adegunna, and PTL News on our Social Media handles or call 234-8033260387, 8120969883. If you have been blessed by our website, you are free to bless us in return. Reach out to the Publisher for donations and supports. God bless you.