-Charges Muslims to Boycott Versity
-Raises Fear Over Operation Amotekun
By Ibn AbdirRaheem
Osun State Muslim Community has devastatingly criticized Adeleke University for suspending a Muslim part three Law student, Lawal Toheeb, for not attending chapel services in the school.
In a communiqué issued after a delegates’ meeting of the Community on Ahad, 24th Jumaadal Uula, 1441 [ditto January 29th, 2019] at its Secretariat, Surulere Area of Oshogbo, Osun State, Nigeria, and signed by the President and the Secretary, Alhaji Mustafa Olawuyi and Alhaji Hashim Ilelabade Olapade, respectively, the Community said it reviewed the case of the Muslim student who was suspended for a semester from the university.
In a telephone conversation with this reporter this morning, the president of the Muslim Community confirmed the release of the communiqué.
‘It was resolved that the stand of this university negates the policy of National University Commission (NUC) that guarantees freedom of worship for faith-based private universities,’ says the communiqué.
‘Therefore, Adeleke University Ede is an untrustworthy, insincere and deceitful institution. Muslims are hereby called upon to henceforth boycott the University and seek admission for their wards in other tertiary institutions that are tolerant to the practice of Islamic religion,’ the communiqué decisively says.
In an interview with a correspondent of Muslim Community Report, a media outfit of the Community, Alhaji Olawuyi also admonished parents to always look after their wards, especially those living on campuses.
‘Muslim parents should be cautious of events and happenings in institutions their children attend,’ the president said.
This news outfit exclusively carried a report about the suspension on January 2nd, 2020.
In a letter of suspension, sighted by this reporter, and that was handed over to the affected student on 10th December, 2019, the university says, inter alia, ‘The President/Vice-Chancellor considered the report of the Students’ Disciplinary Committee that found you guilty of gross disrespect to Constituted Authority. The Vice-Chancellor subsequently approved that you should be suspended from all academic activities in the University for One Semester to commence second semester of 2019/2020 academic session in line with the sanction in the Students’ Handbook…’.
Lawal Toheeb was invited to face the disciplinary committee on 3rd December, 2019, at the Senate Building of the school, that has persons like Pastor Andrew Emuroutu, Mrs. Omije; the Chief Security Officer of the School, Mr. Kola Ojetoye; Professor Oguntoyinbo Atere, the Dean of Students’ Care; as members.
According to Lawal Toheeb, all his pleas to the panel that he is a Muslim fell on their deaf ears. He said they all alluded to the fact it was a mandatory rule of the school that all students must attend the chapel services.
The school Sabbath Worship takes place 8-45am to 9-15am on Saturdays, so also in the evenings of Wednesdays and Saturdays, as contained in page 49 of the student’s handbook.
In our investigation, the school operates a merit/demerit system for obedience or disobedience to the various rules and regulations of the school among which is compulsory attendance of chapel services where the Seventh Day Church doctrines such as singing, dancing, preaching and host of other activities, hold sway. There are a number of chapels such as Shalom Chapel, Salvation Chapel, Grace Chapel, Praise Chapel, Peace Chapel, etc., that all the students have been grouped.
Non-attendance of chapel programme attracts a 10-point demerit, which was formerly a 5-point, according to our findings. A student who has amassed between 10 and 60 points of demerits may be asked to carry out a community service such as sweeping the floor of the surroundings, cutting the grass, cleaning the gutters, or other dirty jobs, all in the university arena. But at any point above 60 demerits, the student will be summoned to face a disciplinary panel from where he can be suspended and eventually expelled from the school if he is returned and does not comply with the law of compulsory chapel attendance.
Meanwhile, since the suspension of the student, and its attendant public outcry especially from the Muslims, the school has remained silent but defiant on the issue.
A online newspaper outfit, PM News, on January 2nd, 2020, reported it spoke with one of the officials of the school, Mr. Bolaji, who heads the admissions department; he said he was not aware of the suspension.
Also in the communiqué, the Community raised some fears regarding the newly established Operation Amotekun in South West region of Nigeria. It condemned the requirement that issuance of birth certificates and letters of recommendation should come from churches for would-be officers of the security outfit. It declares that the operation is shrouded in secrecy and is with hidden agenda.